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Old 12-10-2019, 03:24 PM
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Cannonball Run Record Broken. Why no arrests?


Three guys in a souped-up AMG Benz just broke the Cannonball Run record driving from a Manhattan garage to LA in 27 hours and change. The run has been well publicized including photos of the GPS tracker that shows a top speed of 193mph and an average of 103mph.

They used a whole host of tech including radar and laser jammers - radar jammers are not legal, and an aircraft avoidance device which would have detected police aircraft. Also not legal in a road vehicle.

Here is an article in Road and Track: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cul...rs-25-minutes/ and I saw a bit about it on TV - maybe one of the nightly news casts - unsure where TBH.

Are these guys opening themselves up to any kind of prosecution? It seems unfathomable to me that some jurisdiction wouldn't try to bring up charges against the drivers.
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:26 PM
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The interview I saw they specifically said they didn't use radar jammers because they're illegal. Laser jammers are not, and they used those.

ETA: There's also a thread on the run here already, if you were unaware.

Last edited by Patch; 12-10-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:36 PM
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Are these guys opening themselves up to any kind of prosecution? It seems unfathomable to me that some jurisdiction wouldn't try to bring up charges against the drivers.
I don't know what they've all posted, but is there proof that they specifically sped in any specific jurisdiction? Can Illinois charge them if they don't have proof of what speed they were going while they were in Illinois?
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:38 PM
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To bring up charges, it would take more than them just stating that they had broken speed limits. A jurisdiction would have had to have had direct evidence of its own. They put a lot of effort into avoiding police attention, including scouts and detectors (and didn't encounter any police aircraft). So there may be little or no evidence that they violated the law.
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:40 PM
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The cops are not legally required to enforce most laws, even if it turns out somebody was speeding. Also, I imagine they did not upload and publish precise GPS data allowing prosecutors to easily prove exactly where and when these crimes took place, even if it is a mathematical certainty there were a whole lot of traffic violations.
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:41 PM
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:49 PM
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Isn't a confession sufficient evidence all by itself?
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:21 PM
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A few years ago I read about a/the previous record winner in Wired or similar, and it was reported a few years after the fact, IIRC to avoid prosecution.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:22 PM
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Isn't a confession sufficient evidence all by itself?
For a traffic violation? I'm not so sure that is accurate.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:46 PM
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Isn't a confession sufficient evidence all by itself?
I don't believe that a public statement or claim is the equivalent to a confession.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:47 PM
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Huh? Is there a rule about not telling people there's already a similar thread?

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Isn't a confession sufficient evidence all by itself?
If I go on the local news and say that I parked in a handicapped spot once while I was driving to Wyoming (from Wisconsin), who's going to do what? Keeping in mind, I didn't say where I was, there's no pictures and my 'admission' wasn't under oath, nor was I Mirandized.
On top of all that (or maybe because of it), I could say I made it up.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:00 PM
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Huh? Is there a rule about not telling people there's already a similar thread?
Not to try to speak for the Mods, but I think this wasn't admonishing the poster, just reminding folks that this thread was in GQ whereas that other thread was in MPSIMS. That thread has a more wide ranging discussion that isn't appropriate here.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:01 PM
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Isn't a confession sufficient evidence all by itself?
No, and in any case they haven't "confessed" to any specific offense. Obviously they must have driven above the speed limit somewhere, but unless there's evidence they did so at some specific time and place there's no basis to charge them. Who gets to write them the ticket?

Chuck Barris, originator of The Gong Show, confessed to being a CIA assassin but even if anyone believed him there would be nothing to charge him with.

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Huh? Is there a rule about not telling people there's already a similar thread?
Why would you think that? I was just instructing people to take discussion to the thread you linked to. There was nothing wrong with your post.

Last edited by Colibri; 12-10-2019 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:27 PM
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Could they use toll booth records as evidence?
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:41 PM
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Could they use toll booth records as evidence?
Their route was reportedly on interstates:

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Their total elapsed distance of 2825 miles covered I-80 as far as Nebraska, then I-76 to Denver, then I-70 into Utah, and finally, I-15 into greater Los Angeles.
AFAIK the Interstates are generally not toll roads, although there may be some tolled sections.

It's possible that video cameras on some stretches could provide evidence.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:18 PM
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Could they use toll booth records as evidence?
Not if they didn't take any turnpikes with variable tolls based upon distance driven. If there was a single point toll booth, like a bridge crossing which has an automated recorder like EZ-Pass but no speed cameras at the toll booth then there's no record of them speeding anywhere.


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AFAIK the Interstates are generally not toll roads, although there may be some tolled sections.
It's kind of common in the NE US.
PA Turnpike - I-76
NJ Turnpike - I-95
Mass Pike - I-90
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:23 PM
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No, and in any case they haven't "confessed" to any specific offense. Obviously they must have driven above the speed limit somewhere, but unless there's evidence they did so at some specific time and place there's no basis to charge them. Who gets to write them the ticket?
In the video they made, there were in-car shots showing the speedo at 140 mph. If some LEO could identify the location based on landmarks, road signs, etc., would that be enough?
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:40 PM
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I suppose there could be an investigation over their claim. But it would be tough to pin point specific locations and jurisdiction to come up with where to prosecute and for what. A lot of man hours just for a speeding or reckless driving charge. Keep in mind they werenít under oath while making their claim. It could be difficult getting convictions.


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Originally Posted by MrFloppy View Post
and an aircraft avoidance device which would have detected police aircraft. Also not legal in a road vehicle..
Do you have a cite for this claim? Iím unaware of any law prohibiting this. Doesnít mean such a law doesnít exist, though. Iím just unaware of one.

Some years back Electrolert (manufacturer of the Original Fuzzbuster brand Radar detector) had a device called Spybuster that detected police aircraft. I have no intel saying it was illegal.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:08 PM
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It's kind of common in the NE US.
PA Turnpike - I-76
NJ Turnpike - I-95
Mass Pike - I-90
They evidently didn't use any of those. If they had used the PA Turnpike instead of I-80 the would have left evidence since the Turnpike collects tolls by photographing plates.

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In the video they made, there were in-car shots showing the speedo at 140 mph. If some LEO could identify the location based on landmarks, road signs, etc., would that be enough?
I don't think that would be good enough. They could claim the speedometer was wrong or deliberately wrongly adjusted as a joke.

As pkbites says, this would be a lot of effort just to issue a speeding or reckless driving ticket. And these guys obviously invested a lot of money in special equipment so paying a fine, even a large one, wouldn't amount to much considering the rest of their expenses - and they may have even factored it in to their costs.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:04 PM
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I realize the police would never bother putting this amount of effort into arresting a normal traffic law violator. But these are obviously not typical traffic violations.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:07 PM
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In the video they made, there were in-car shots showing the speedo at 140 mph. If some LEO could identify the location based on landmarks, road signs, etc., would that be enough?
Who gets the ticket? There were three people in that car, and none of them has publicly said who was driving at any given moment.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:10 PM
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Who gets the ticket? There were three people in that car, and none of them has publicly said who was driving at any given moment.
Exactly. "Prove it was me driving at that specific moment". They were very careful not to say who was driving at any given time.

Last edited by hajario; 12-10-2019 at 09:11 PM.
  #23  
Old 12-10-2019, 10:10 PM
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They evidently didn't use any of those. If they had used the PA Turnpike instead of I-80 the would have left evidence since the Turnpike collects tolls by photographing plates.
Only for certain interchanges. Since they started in NYC (Brooklyn, I believe) the PA Tpk would not be the most direct route for them to take anyway.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:10 PM
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Who gets the ticket? There were three people in that car, and none of them has publicly said who was driving at any given moment.
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Exactly. "Prove it was me driving at that specific moment". They were very careful not to say who was driving at any given time.
I don't feel like rewatching that 20-minute video right this minute, but I'm pretty sure I saw video shot from the back seat that showed the driver and the speedo in big bright green numerals.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:27 PM
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The cops are not legally required to enforce most laws, even if it turns out somebody was speeding. Also, I imagine they did not upload and publish precise GPS data allowing prosecutors to easily prove exactly where and when these crimes took place, even if it is a mathematical certainty there were a whole lot of traffic violations.
What they have admitted to in their posts is likely enough for the police to obtain a search warrant to get that GPS data from their devices, and that would be fairly conclusive proof that they were speeding, at specific times & places. If any police wanted to put that much effort into pursuing them.

QAlso, the police may already have that GPS info. I remember reading a while ago that one of the mapping applications (Tom-tom or Gamin?) was providing timing information to a police agency in Europe, so that the police could be waiting for them when they arrived at the next town too quickly.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:32 PM
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Isn't a confession sufficient evidence all by itself?
Welll... they could just say it was a article for entertainment value.

And most traffic violations are infractions, at least here in CA they arent even a crime, technically.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:14 AM
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I don't feel like rewatching that 20-minute video right this minute, but I'm pretty sure I saw video shot from the back seat that showed the driver and the speedo in big bright green numerals.
And who is to say that speedometer was calibrated properly? Or that the video wasn't faked?

Look, I'm sure given the umpteen jurisdictions they went through there are more than a few D.A.'s, Sheriffs, and Police chiefs considering doing something about it. And it won't surprise me if a handful give it a shot. But any good defense attorney will quickly make holes in their case. The majority of law enforcement will take the "we'll get'em next time" attitude.

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Some years back Electrolert (manufacturer of the Original Fuzzbuster brand Radar detector) had a device called Spybuster that detected police aircraft.
Here is one.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:11 AM
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I don't feel like rewatching that 20-minute video right this minute, but I'm pretty sure I saw video shot from the back seat that showed the driver and the speedo in big bright green numerals.
Probably right here at 9:49. The cell phone to the left of the wheel appears to be showing a speed close to 150. Or is it? Maybe it's just 14? And is that number even measuring speed? Maybe it's the temperature outside in celsius?

OTOH, the OEM speedometer needle appears to be in the 3 o'clock position; if you count up from zero, it sure looks like it could be close to 150 MPH. But maybe it's poorly calibrated? Or straight-up malfunctioning?

OK, so never mind all that, just analyze the movement of the dashed lines on the road. Those are standard sized, so the cops should be able to get an estimate of speed to within a margin of error sufficient to show they were definitely over the speed limit.

But which cops would do this? Where did this happen? Should the Nebraska State Police be looking into this, or should it be Colorado? or Iowa?

And when did it happen? Is this footage from their cannonball run, or is it a road test from six month ago?

And just who is the stubbly-faced driver? Is it even one of the three guys who claim to have done this cannonball run, or just a friend of theirs who took the car out for a high-speed burst?

The roadside photo-radar devices that automatically nail people for speeding don't bother identifying the driver; they just send the ticket to the registered owner, and it's a monetary fine, no points on your license. If cops want to nail a driver for felony reckless driving, they need to identify exactly who the individual behind the wheel was, what they did, and where they did it (and it better be inside their jurisdiction), all beyond a reasonable doubt (the standard of guilt for a felony conviction). None of that is evident in any of the video clips they've shown.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:56 AM
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Probably right here at 9:49.



But which cops would do this? Where did this happen? Should the Nebraska State Police be looking into this, or should it be Colorado? or Iowa?

And when did it happen? Is this footage from their cannonball run, or is it a road test from six month ago?
There is a billboard captured in the video, between that and the map on the GPS, an intrepid investigator should be able to pinpoint exactly where this video was taken.

When is a decent question. The car model is a 2015, it may be possible to push the date later than that based on the equipment pictured in the video. They don't need an exact date for a conviction, they just need to prove that the statute of limitations didn't run out. There may also be metadata on the video but that is way beyond my pay grade.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:06 AM
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Is a still picture of a speedometer proof the car is traveling at that speed?
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:02 AM
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Is a still picture of a speedometer proof the car is traveling at that speed?
More importantly, how do you know what car or person that is in the car?

The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person/car in question was exceeding the speed limit by a specific amount at a specific time and place.

You can't get most of that from a video still or tiny segment off YouTube. You could probably narrow it down to where it was between the GPS map and billboard, but beyond that, you don't know when, who or what car it was, nor how fast it was actually going- it could *say* around 150, but actually have been going 75, if they tweaked their speedometer and digital display for the sake of making a cool video.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:13 AM
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it could *say* around 150, but actually have been going 75, if they tweaked their speedometer and digital display for the sake of making a cool video.
They could even have sped up the video playback to make it look like they were going fast.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:17 AM
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You could probably narrow it down to where it was between the GPS map and billboard, but beyond that, you don't know when, who or what car it was, nor how fast it was actually going- it could *say* around 150, but actually have been going 75, if they tweaked their speedometer and digital display for the sake of making a cool video.
If someone posts a video of themselves committing a crime, you don't need to know exactly what date it happened on, just that you aren't violating the statute of limitations by indicting them.

On the video, you can potentially determine exactly where they were, measure the fence posts they passed, and the time elapsed on the video to accurately determine the speed of the car. You can also accurately determine who the person is from the video, given that you have 3 suspects to choose from, and a very clear picture of the side of the person's face and ear. You can also charge people with conspiracy to commit a crime, and it doesn't matter at all which of the three was driving, simply that they worked together to cause the criminal act to happen.

These guys provided the video, and openly admitted it was their video that they took at a particular point in time. The prosecution can "prove" they did it by submitting their open admission of committing the crime, it now falls to the defense to refute that evidence with conflicting evidence of their own.

Fun fact, members of the jury are likely to know exactly what stretch of road this is (being that any trial will be located in that place) and may not be thrilled that these jokers were using their neighborhood for a dangerous stunt.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:22 AM
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Yes, but did they break the Gumball Rally speed record? That movie IIRC was several years before Cannonball.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:41 AM
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The prosecution can "prove" they did it by submitting their open admission of committing the crime, it now falls to the defense to refute that evidence with conflicting evidence of their own.
Assuming the tape was admitted into evidence all the defense would have to say is "We faked it, it was a joke." With no one to establish the provenance of the tape you're left with nothing.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:53 AM
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Assuming the tape was admitted into evidence all the defense would have to say is "We faked it, it was a joke." With no one to establish the provenance of the tape you're left with nothing.
So, you want them to take the stand to lie about committing the crime? That always works out well.

Expect the defendant to have to answer detailed questions about exactly how they faked the film, what tools they used, how they used them, along with explaining to the jury why they haven't submitted the 'original' footage into evidence.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:11 AM
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If they used I-80 from its easternmost extent to Nebraska, then they definitely drove on toll roads. I-80 has tolls in Ohio and Indiana, and I think in at least part of Illinois as well.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:04 PM
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I always used to wonder why rock stars who boasted about taking drugs didn't get arrested. I assume it's the same principle. Unless you're caught in the act, there's not much that can be done.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:25 PM
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They could even have sped up the video playback to make it look like they were going fast.
It's so 'tough' to do that numerous software programs have a speedup/slowdown button/slider bar right in the software.

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If they used I-80 from its easternmost extent to Nebraska, then they definitely drove on toll roads. I-80 has tolls in Ohio and Indiana, and I think in at least part of Illinois as well.
Do we know if they used EZ-Pass? Do we know if they used their EZ-Pass or a transponder belonging to one of their friends? We know they did mods to the vehicle; do we know that the old license-plate-on-a-string wasn't one of them; thereby making it impossible to identify them on the toll roads. Without knowing a date/time/lane, that's a lot of video to sift thru to find them to prove a vehicle (but not a specific driver) was behind the wheel in part/all of a state.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:39 PM
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I always used to wonder why rock stars who boasted about taking drugs didn't get arrested. I assume it's the same principle. Unless you're caught in the act, there's not much that can be done.
There is also an element of, "What are we going to use our limited resources on, this?" If you are one of the jurisdictions that these guys drove through, are you really going to devote what may end up being considerable time and money to take them to court? For a case that will probably get tossed right out. You aren't going to remain the county District Attorney for long if you blow your annual budget on a losing case.

Evidence will consist of hearsay and easily faked video.

Also known as "choose your battles." You want to choose ones that you are likely to win.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:12 PM
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So, you want them to take the stand to lie about committing the crime? That always works out well.

Expect the defendant to have to answer detailed questions about exactly how they faked the film, what tools they used, how they used them, along with explaining to the jury why they haven't submitted the 'original' footage into evidence.
You have a flawed understanding of how it works.

The defense doesnít have to submit any evidence or prove anything. They certainly donít have have to prove a negative. Itís the prosecution that has to do the proving and that is going to be rather difficult and a waste of resources for what most likely is not even a crime.

Nobody was under oath when they made their confessions. They have every right to retract what they claimed.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:24 PM
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You have a flawed understanding of how it works.

The defense doesnít have to submit any evidence or prove anything. They certainly donít have have to prove a negative. Itís the prosecution that has to do the proving and that is going to be rather difficult and a waste of resources for what most likely is not even a crime.

Nobody was under oath when they made their confessions. They have every right to retract what they claimed.
Their "confessions" are admissible even if they don't testify (statement against interest). Retractions would not be admissible if made out of court, and would only get to a jury if they took the stand and opened themselves up to cross examination. Most lawyers would advise against testifying that it was all a joke (unless it actually is a hoax of some kind).

However, the confessions might not be sufficient to convict. See corpus delecti Rule

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In the American legal system, the concept has its outgrowth in several principles. Many jurisdictions hold as a legal rule that a defendant's out-of-court confession, alone, is insufficient evidence to prove the defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:48 PM
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Back in the days of newsgroups, misc.transport.road speculated on the possibility of being issued tickets based on travel time on ticketed toll road. Someone mentioned that if it happened to him he'd be subpoenaing the people that set the clocks on both ends. That chances of both of them and the officer that wrote the ticket showing up in court aren't great.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:53 PM
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Note there was a similar case where someone was caught after setting the record for fastest lap around Manhattan. Of course, that was one jurisdiction, and he revealed enough information that they were able to track him with various road cameras.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-youtube-video
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:39 PM
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The article stated that they carried a 3rd party GPS tracker. If the police can get their hands on that data, then they can conduct all kinds of evidence fishing.

The defense that suggests that the video is a fake would be seriously weakened by the police obtaining a warrant and capturing any of their raw footage. One reason there might not be any arrests is that police are putting together a solid case and trying to figure out all the places to serve warrants on at any given time.

I'd be incredibly surprised if the police had to rely on the videos they made. Are there really no independent video cameras along that whole stretch of road.

I'm not convinced that the fact that one of several people might have been the driver at any given point in time is going to be sufficient defense. Isn't that exactly what conspiracy charges are for? Pretty sure that getting a group of people together to commit a crime doesn't have the easy out of "ha, but you can't prove exactly which one of us committed the crime!"

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 12-11-2019 at 07:41 PM.
  #46  
Old 12-12-2019, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Retractions would not be admissible if made out of court, and would only get to a jury if they took the stand and opened themselves up to cross examination.
Which they don't have to answer anything that might incriminate themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
The article stated that they carried a 3rd party GPS tracker. If the police can get their hands on that data, then they can conduct all kinds of evidence fishing.

The defense that suggests that the video is a fake would be seriously weakened by the police obtaining a warrant and capturing any of their raw footage. One reason there might not be any arrests is that police are putting together a solid case and trying to figure out all the places to serve warrants on at any given time.

I'd be incredibly surprised if the police had to rely on the videos they made. Are there really no independent video cameras along that whole stretch of road.

I'm not convinced that the fact that one of several people might have been the driver at any given point in time is going to be sufficient defense. Isn't that exactly what conspiracy charges are for? Pretty sure that getting a group of people together to commit a crime doesn't have the easy out of "ha, but you can't prove exactly which one of us committed the crime!"
The majority of law enforcement aren't going to pursue all this for traffic violations. True, reckless driving can be a crime but usually only a misdemeanor. I'm thinking some agency with a hard on will try, though. And It will be interesting to see how far they get.
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
Isn't that exactly what conspiracy charges are for?
Conspiracy to commit speeding?

The only reason I can see a local jurisdiction going to the trouble is PR, and that's both unlikely to succeed in getting a conviction and very likely to backfire in people asking why they are wasting time on such a minor thing.

Last edited by Colibri; 12-12-2019 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:14 AM
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Conspiracy to commit speeding?
Does that occur every time someone purchases a radar detector? We could charge the buyer, the store they bought it from, and the manufacturer?
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:45 AM
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Why is a confession, made out of court and not under oath, admissible but a subsequent retraction, made out of court and not under oath, is not admissible?
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:43 AM
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Why is a confession, made out of court and not under oath, admissible but a subsequent retraction, made out of court and not under oath, is not admissible?
It's admissible. You have to think about this as part of what happens in the courtroom, the jury may only rely on information they have been presented.

The prosecution presents the freely offered public confession of the crime, all the background details provided by the defendants to the various media outlets, along with the snippets of their own video showing them actually doing the deed along a street in the local jurisdiction.

The defense now has to present the retraction. How exactly do you think that's going to happen? The defense lawyer can't simply say it was a joke, he has to present evidence. He has to submit the retraction as evidence, I'm no law talking guy, but I doubt he's going to be allowed to submit a videotaped retraction, when the defendant is sitting right there in the courtroom. The retraction is going to come in the form of the defendant on the stand, where is his now open to cross examination, and the prosecutor is going to hammer him on the details of this supposed joke.

Last edited by Cheesesteak; 12-12-2019 at 06:45 AM.
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