Melin: Please don’t misunderstand where I’m at on this. The simple fact that the cops frame the right guy does not mean (to me) the guy ought to be convicted (or that the police should escape punishment). You actually would find me a dream juror because I, like the OJ jurors, would tend to throw out the good evidence as tainted with the bad.
Evidence that the cops usually frame the right guy? Well, you won’t be terribly surprised to learn that there aren’t a lot of studies on this sort of thing, because proving that cops testi-lie is rare. (but I’ll look)
But such a scandal has happened before. In Philly (IIRC the early 90’s) and here in NY a few years back (the Dirty 30 scandal). At the time of the Dirty 30, several friends worked at the Manhattan D.A.’s office. (You gotta be really bad to get your own D.A’s office. ). I expressed my concern that the streets were about to be flooded with a) guilty people who ought to be in jail and/or b) innocent people who were really pissed off at being framed by the cops.
As it happened, the cases tended to fall into one of three categories. Most defendants pled. More specifically, they allocuted when they pled. They made a voluntary admission that they did the crime. In other cases, a judge found that despite the tainted police involvement, there was no reversible error, since enough independent evidence was introduced to secure the conviction. Third, the cops got a guy who was innocent of that particular crime (or at least there was insufficient non-tainted evidence to secure a conviction), in which case the conviction was overturned and the defendant was released. Guess how long until a re-arrest for a similar crime?
I believe that the same dynamic held in Philly.
I’m looking for a cite for the all of the above but it’s gonna take a while because, you may be amused to know, “Dirty 30” is:
a reference to a scandal-plagued police precinct in NYC
a brand of guitar amplifier
a reference to the 30 largest Political Action Committees in Texas
the 30 most influential divorce lawyers in the U.S.
a rap group
an aeronautical maneuver somehow distinguished from a clean 30
slang for the Great Depression, in particular the dust-bowl
:: sigh :: sometimes I hate search engines.
Aside from any evidence that I can or can’t find, it also makes intuitive sense that in most cases the police would frame the right guy. It’s easier, and IMHO many of these cases (police theft excluded, of course) the cops do it simply to make the wheels spin a little faster.
In cases where the police are stealing, it’s probably even more common that the cops are doing it to an illegal enterprise. It’s simply too easy for a legit business to prove that the theft occurred and who did it.
Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine