Why our justice system SUCKS!

This December I was studying for my final exams at a friends (Dan’s) house, around midnight. I decided it was time for a break and walked outside. I opened my truck, and noticed that the wires that hooked up my amplifier were cut, and my amp was gone. All my cd’s were stolen as well. We hopped in our trucks and tried to find people in the area. Dan found a police car, and told him what happened. Within 20 minutes, the cops picked up the guys (there was an eyewitness who identified them. he is Dan’s neighbor and didn’t stop them because he figured it was thier vechicle, because he didn’t know me). The cops found a winning lottery ticket for $5, and a toolkit they used to cut wires with in the guys’ jackets. It had just snowed, and their footprints were found in the yard.
So the evidence is: footprints, they had MY lottery ticket, they had thief tools, and an EYEWITNESS.

And get this… the judge lets this cocksucker off, scott free!! Says that this isn’t enough evidence, footprinting isn’t an exact science, we can’t prove it was my lottery ticket (even though it won with the same numbers as mine (it was a scratcher))

My roommate works at a magazine store. A while ago, the store was robbed; the thief cleaned out the cash and stole my roommate’s wallet. Not only did they have the guy on camera, he was a former employee so they had his name, address, friggin’ social insurance number. And the police never caught him.

Of course, this same force has huge squads available to preemptively arrest protestors before they begin to march, as well as people minding their own businesses in adjacent metro stations.

On the other hand, speaking as a cocksucker, I really appreciate your comparing these folks to me.

I was actually surprised by the Police Department, they caught them within 20 minutes, and all they were told was the color of the guys jacket. The judge just fucked me over, basicly.

Ok, what derogatory term would you like me to call him?

Asshole, scumbags, thieving bastards, goat felching pieces of shit, wastes of life, there are pleanty of derogatory terms you can use.

Not only is cocksucker inappropriate, I know pleanty of cocksuckers who are quite proud of the fact that they are.

And get this… the judge lets this asshole, scumbag, thieving bastard, goat felching piece of shit, waste of life off… scott free!! Says that this isn’t enough evidence, footprinting isn’t an exact science, we can’t prove it was my lottery ticket (even though it won with the same numbers as mine (it was a scratcher))

That fucking son of a motherless goat.

Did you at least get your stuff back, minus the lottery ticket?

I got NOTHING back. Between me and Dan, there was about 1000 bucks worth of theft/dammage (they broke his stereo). Once again, I’d like to go against my usual charachter and praise the (usually) inept cops, because (according to them) it was a slow night otherwise and they looked in the bushes and dumpsters for a couple hours. Keep in mind these are the same cops who set up DUI/DWI roadblocks in the exact middle of town, where you can see and avoid them from anywhere in town. (small town, 10,000 people)

Some of us with Celtic heritage don’t appreciate the term “scott free” either. :slight_smile:

Anyway, looks to me like the judicial system worked. They failed to incarcerate someone based on circumstantial evidence.

Maybe the court could’ve done a better job if the police had managed to get a confession from the goat felching scum who ripped you off.

If the guy’s not dirt poor (owns anything), you can sue. Standards of proof in civil cases are not as high as in criminal ones.

You might also, with elections coming up, publicize the incompetence of the police with reference to anybody running for office who’s in charge of them (mayor, town council members, etc.).

Well fuck, it’s the pit, if you’re offended by scott free, get over it. Maybe i’m ignorant, but i don’t see how that is derogatory in any way.

How are footprints circumstantial? when they took the actual shoes he was wearing along with pictures of the snow, right next to where my truck was parked? and there was an EYEWITNESS.

I don’t want to sue, because it’ll probably cost just as much as what i’d get out of it, and this guy is going to end up a carrerr criminal, ending up in the revolving door we dare to call justice.

Nice of you to not make that comment about those who got offended by cocksucker. BTW, how many racial stereotypes of your particular heritage have you gotten over?

How are footprints circumstantial? Didn’t you post that it’s not an exact science? Evidently, then, those footprints could’ve come from someone else than the goat-felching scum whom the Police arrested. And read my post again: I clearly mentioned something about getting a confession. Clearly, the Police should’ve handled the case better; at least, in the court’s opinion. Last I checked, the idea was to err on the side of caution so as to not chuck innocent people into the hoosegow. If that means letting some GFS go free, then so be it.

Don’t mind me, just registering to fight a little ignorance:

Why Scot-free has nothing to do with Scotland (Confirmed by the OED online, which I won’t link to, as not everyone has access to it.)

Well, since you ask, i’ve gotten over every single racial stereotype ever directed towards me, including spic, wetback, scratchback, white boy, gringo… yeah, i’m a half-breed, so what.

Even though the goat felching scumbag was a juvenile, he still didn’t have to confess, due to the 5th ammendment.

How would you have handled the case, if you were a cop? (read: what could they have done better?)

and how is an EYEWITNESS circumstantial?

not to mention the dirty porch monky, fence jumping, river swimming, border crossing spic was on house arrest, was on a curfiew of 6pm when it was midnight, and had proior convictions. (yes, i know, as informed by the DA, you cannot bring this up in court.)

Heck, I’m all for chucking all the stops on anyone who’s violating parole or violating probation. Matter of fact, one tenant in the apartment complex where I live got evicted for having parolees congregate in her place. The lease says “no criminal activity” and the parole conditions said “no hanging out with other convicts.”

Eyewitness testimony isn’t always reliable. After all, folks sometimes see stuff that’s not there and not see stuff that is.

Don’t know about how I’d handle it differently as a cop; however, if I were the DA, I’d certainly get the curfew-jumping jerk prosecuted for all the other stuff he did for which his mere presence outside of the curtailed area is positive proof of his crime.

Melandry: Thanks. You may now consider me informed. BTW, that link worked for me.

Was there any DNA evidence…o wait, nevermind. Yeah, our justice system really does suck.

This is what small claims court is for. You may not be able to recover the full value of what he stole, depending on how much it was, but give it a shot!

Namely because eyewitnesses are wrong quite a bit of the time. Even minor contextual clues in questioning can alter what people report having seen. There’s a famous experiment which demonstrated the fallibility of eyewitnesses by showing people a video of an automobile collision. Some of the sample was asked “Was there glass on the ground after the cars hit?” and others “Was there glass on the ground after the cars smashed?” They found that those asked about the cars “smashing” reported in substantially higher numbers that there was indeed glass on the ground (There was no glass).

OK, a little primer on evidence.

“Circumstantial” is not a fancy word for “shitty.” Virtually all evidence OTHER than eyewitness testimony and a video recording of the crime itself is “circumstantial.” Circumstantial evidence is simply evidence that establishes some ultimate fact (like guilt) by inference . Some inferences are so strong as to be compelling. E.g., the guy found one block from the bank with exploded dye all over his hands and cash floating toward his feet IS the bank robber. Other inferences are less strong. E.g., the guy with the motive did the killing. How strong or weak an inference is typically depends on the strength of the rest of the evidence (which itself is likely circumstantial as well). A “web” of circumstantial evidence can be devastating.

The reliability of “direct” evidence, such as eyewitness identification testimony, varies with the circumstances (e.g., length of observation, pre-existing familiarity of the person identified, etc). But direct evidence is logically no more categorically “good” than circumstantial evidence is categorically bad. (Btw, whether a confession should be considered “direct” or “circumstantial” has generated considerable debate; it’s sort of a hybrid.) For the most part, the classification is not terribly important; what makes evidence good or bad depends not on its label but on its logical force. To decide that we usually rely–for better or worse–on juries. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes not.