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Once a Marine,
always a Marine
Picture of Ronin1069
posted
Okay, necessary disclaimer out of the way. I'm as "pro-cop" as anyone I know. This is not me bashing cops, or questioning their integrity, but I was listening to two lawyers (a prosecutor and a defense attorney) debate the jury system yesterday; especially when it comes to police and trying to convict police officers.

They did not agree on much, but one area where they were absolutely aligned, was over the concept of presumption of innocence. The conversation went on for nearly an hour, but in the end it came to to this:

The average jury walks into the courtroom and sizes up the defendant. They instantly think, "I wonder how the defense will try to make me think this guy is not guilty".

The average jury walks into the courtroom and sees a cop on trial. They instantly think, "I wonder what evidence the prosecutors has to make convict a cop of something".

Police officers are of the few class of citizens who truly enjoy a presumption of innocence, and that is one of the primary reasons it is so difficult to convict them of anything. The jury expects the prosecutors to PROVE the cop is guilty, and that same jury is looking for a reason not to convict the officer.

I thought about it for a while, guilty as charged. My personal bias is that in most cases the cops are going to be above board, and it is really going to take "something" for me to say the words "guilty".

Thoughts?

Agree/disagree?


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Posts: 8600 | Location: Belly of the Beast | Registered: January 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Big Stack
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I think a lot depends on the nature of the case.

If the case is something based on a legitimate judgment call a LEO has to make in the line of duty (think questionable shooting decision), yes, they likely get benefit of the doubt. If the case is about deliberate malfeasance (think corruption or intentional excessive use of force), not so much.
 
Posts: 17116 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of konata88
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Presumptions and assumptions aside, it still comes down to the facts presented. One can have bias but decisions should come down to the facts presented, or lack thereof. Anything else and it's one conscience with which one has to live.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 6213 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
A Grateful American
Picture of sigmonkey
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Bottom line is the individual juror.
Either they have honesty and integrity, or they don't.

Everything else is a distraction.




"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
 
Posts: 35624 | Location: My Happy Little Tire Swing | Registered: December 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
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quote:
Originally posted by BBMW:
I think a lot depends on the nature of the case.

If the case is something based on a legitimate judgment call a LEO has to make in the line of duty (think questionable shooting decision), yes, they likely get benefit of the doubt. If the case is about deliberate malfeasance (think corruption or intentional excessive use of force), not so much.


I'd agree with this. On a good/bad shoot I'd give the cop the benefit of doubt or a lighter sentence. If it's corruption or misuse of power, then I'd be inclined to punish him twice as much as an every day citizen and be more likely to be biased towards guilty going in.



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 9469 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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Disagree.

A lot of the people who end up on juries either don't have the nuts or the respect for both the system and the importance of their role in it to vote to convict. I've seen juries on very solid cases return not guilty verdicts with such impressive reliability that I'm surprised more defendants don't take their chances. I think that in a lot of cases, it's just easier to acquit and be home on the couch than to deliberate for hours or days. Prosecutors get nervous about sending a case to a jury on a Friday or too close to the end of the day.

Your mileage may vary based on local culture, but where I work I truly believe that the prosecution really has to fight to get a conviction.
 
Posts: 1948 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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I can tell you from personal experience that there are sometimes actually insane people on juries. Grand juries, too.
 
Posts: 13174 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Whack-Job
Whisperer
Picture of 18DAI
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You can never tell what a jury may do, regardless of who the defendant is. Dont forget, a jury is made up of twelve people who either want to be there or are too stupid to get out of jury duty.

Ive seen them let stone cold killers, armed robbers and career drug dealers walk away scott free.

Like the other poster said, Im VERY surprised more defendants dont roll the dice on a jury trial. Regards 18DAI




Blue lives matter.
 
Posts: 3096 | Registered: August 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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