Re: OJ Simpson and the Question of Blami

Wed, 6 Jul 1994 11:13:00 PDT

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