Re: OJ Simpson and the Question of Blami
Cal Eastman (shiva@FREENET.SCRI.FSU.EDU)
Wed, 6 Jul 1994 22:39:08 18000
> Steele writes:
> "I'm not sure this is unique to the US but it is one of the great things
> that seperated us from the British system of "justice". The auguments
> about how someone is accused are firmed rooted in the belief that it is
> better to let someone get away with a crime than to let the government
> abuse the rights of the governed. That's the way it should be."
> However, the case in point raises the question: Is the only way to ensure
> that the rights of the governed are not violated is to deny the larger
> society the right to have an accurate determination of someone's guilt or
> innocense? Suppose that (a) serial killer X is guilty, (b) the only evidence
> that incontrovertibly shows this to be the case is evidence that is ruled
> inadmissible and (c) the consequence is that serial killer X is freed.
> Society's right to protection under the law has been abrogated on the grounds
> that to do otherwise would have violated individual rights. But ruling the
> evidence as inadmissible the ONLY way to "punish" the police, etc. for having
> violated individual rights? For example: suppose the prosecutor is barred
> from ever again prosecuting if he/she introduces evidence that has been
> illegally obtained by the police?
> D. Read
yes, and yes. Who watches the watchmen is an eternal question in any
society, especially a "free" society.
"eternal vigilance is the price of freedom"
The only way evidence is deemed innadmnissible is if it was gained in
a way that violates in principle or act, the rights of citizens of teh
society. given a belief in innocence until guilt is proven, the
accused cannot be deprived of rights. In your example teh "evidence"
is before teh trial, and thius guilt is NOT incontrivertably proven.
Police are not above doctoring evidence to ensure an arrest, and we
all need to be protected from that kind of abuse of power. If a piece
of evidence is that compelling, the police ought to MAKE sure tehy do
everything by the book. If they cannot, they are not fit to discharge
their duty to the citizens of teh state.