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   More American InJustice
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mitakeet
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More American InJustice
« on: Mar 9th, 2008, 11:04pm »
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A few days ago I watched this A&E program "Another Man's Crime" about this guy Scott Hornoff, a wrongly imprisoned Rhode Island police officer.  In this case there is no doubt he is innocent, the real criminal confessed to the crime and provided detail that only the true criminal could know.  What is interesting to me is the parallels with the Scott Peterson trial.  There was 100% no physical evidence, but they guy was cheating on his wife.  In Scott Peterson's case he got the death penalty, so he 'only' has a few decades to salvage his case while Scott Hornoff had life in prison so at least he didn't have a timer counting down.  What really blew my mind was they interviewed a couple of jurors for the program and one of them stated with absolute conviction that she was certain that if they had to do it all over again they would still find him guilty.  In the 'old days' of the US justice system judges would have simply thrown these sorts of cases out.  No physical evidence, nothing to try, nothing for the jury to consider.  Now people are tried and convicted not on any evidence, but because the jury doesn't like them.  How in the hell can you, as a responsible juror, convict someone simply because you don't like them?  What kind of moronic system have we built when a juror, as mentioned above, says she would vote to convict knowing that the guy was innocent!  Woe betide any innocent caught in our system!  Only the guilty have 'justice', the innocent have none.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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torporchair
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #1 on: Mar 10th, 2008, 3:01pm »
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Was this guy's attorney a dolt? Surely the attorney pointed out to the judge that the lack of evidence ruled out the validity of a trial of the man's guilt or innocence?
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mitakeet
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #2 on: Mar 10th, 2008, 3:16pm »
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Unfortunately, in our current legal climate, total lack of physical evidence is no reason to throw out a case.  Because of the lag in time between when he (Hornoff) was questioned and the actual murder, he couldn't recall when he did certain things.  He committed the cardinal sin of guessing and it turned out his guesses were not only wrong (creating suspicion) but left him with a wide open hole in his alibi that neatly covered the time of the murder.  He said several times that he foolishly trusted the system (this from a police officer!) and not only went to the interview (interrogation, though he didn't consider it so at the time) without his attorney, but got involved in the guessing game he knew was so problematic.  Had he simply kept his mouth shut he probably never would have gone to trial because he wouldn't have 'lied' to the interrogators and created the opening wedge.  Basically, his inability to recall in detail a few hour time span after several years, coupled with his being a cheat on his wife, was what convicted him.  No fingerprints, no blood evidence, no eye witnesses (though those are nearly worthless), no nothing except his foolishly guessing on some times after several years, and of course, being an not a very nice person.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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torporchair
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #3 on: Mar 11th, 2008, 4:14am »
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Deeply disturbing, especially when one considers all the guilty people who walk, to think that an innocent person can be convicted wrongly. I know a guy who detests the ACLU; can't stand the ACLU, sends them Christmas cards just to be nasty (Christmas cards with Jesus and so forth, I'm sure the person opening this card at the ACLU is really deeply disturbed by this...yeah, of course they are, no one can stand to see a religious card if they work at the ACLU...Now who is out of touch with reality in this picture?), but if he were ever wronlgy accused of a crime due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being the prime suspect in a case that the cops felt severe pressure to find a perpetrator for, he would change his mind about the ACLU real quickly.
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #4 on: Mar 12th, 2008, 11:53pm »
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A&E? Is that network tv?
Surprised that you watch tv, Mitakeet.
Not suprised that the "judicial" system is idiotic.
Woe is the innocent indeed.
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mitakeet
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #5 on: Mar 13th, 2008, 12:09am »
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I have been watching satellite TV for nigh on a decade now and never intend to go 'back'.  While we do get some network channels on the dish (DirectTV if anyone cares), the 'real' meat is the Science Channel, History Channel, Discovery, Military Channel, etc.  While I do admit to watching inane movies quite often, if there is anything I haven't seen before (I watch a lot, so there may only be one show a week that I haven't seen before) it generally gets preference above all others.
 
Of course, I would rather not have to watch the d**n commercials and try not to think about the fact that I have already paid to watch these commercials.  It is sort of like tax time.  Too much thought leads to too much upset, increased blood pressure and assorted angst.  Much better to just drift along like the rest of the ignorant nation.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw
stillsunday
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #6 on: Mar 13th, 2008, 12:33am »
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Dang.
I bought tivo (Like awesome 80's VCR technology--record yer favorite show!),  
(I will give it to you if you want it) before i sold my tvs.
Watching commercials is misery. Worse is horrible shows you've already seen. But, comforting, yes.
It is a sad reflection, I watch the show Snapped, about how women commit crime or worse, when I visit the rents.
I hate tv and what I watch. so i dont watch.  
[i][/i]
Soul sucking vacuum.
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torporchair
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #7 on: Mar 13th, 2008, 3:44am »
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I see some decent stuff on History Channel or Nat Geo or Discovery. Hanging out with my wife I am honored to watch a good bit of The Young and the Restless. It is impressive to see how the writers manage to massage further and further material out of the characters and settings. Having seen bits of other soaps, I think the Y&R is probably the best quality soap. I know several women I respect highly who enjoy one or more Soap Operas. What can I say? To each their own.  
 
There was a month or two, when there were new writers, when the stories (they inter-twine of course, within the same show different stories twining, pretty impressive) were entertaining to me, before it somehow wore off...something about the same people occupying all these different roles, everyone becomes so many things to the others, always transmogriphying, and with some seriously beyond-belief stuff, totally laughable in terms of suspension of disbelief, but what the hey?
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"The facts, however, show that there are always new soaring dogs in evidence..."
-Franz Kafka from: Investigations of a Dog
mitakeet
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Re: More American InJustice
« Reply #8 on: Nov 21st, 2008, 1:13pm »
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Last night I watched another 'interesting' case of what I consider prosecutorial misconduct:
 
In the shadow of justice: The Palladium murder http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19981970/  
 
The prosecutor failed to turn over all evidence to the defense and the defense (almost certainly a public defender, I can't see anyone getting paid by the defendant being this incompetent) didn't call a single witness.  The only (and I mean only) thing connecting the two guys charged, convicted and stuck in jail for 14 years, was being picked out of a lineup.  Not the tiniest shred of physical evidence and other than one of the guys being dumb enough to lie and say he did it to his girlfriend to impress her (which, btw, he failed to do when she was wearing a wire, something also not disclosed to the defense), not even any statements by the defendants.  Indeed, the first time the two ever met was when they went on trial together.  Even after a judge threw out the convictions and complaining about a miscarriage of justice, the DA still decided to retry the 'shooter' (the other had by then been released and promptly deported to his home country).  Fortunately, this time he had a really good defense team and the jury acquitted.
 
Moral of this story:  NEVER talk to the cops, NEVER agree to a lineup.  They can and will use whatever you say against you, even if it has nothing to do with the crime they are investigating.  
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
--George Bernard Shaw
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