How do we fix the police ‘testilying’ problem?

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  • Kirk Freeman

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    Mar 9, 2008
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    88GT

    Grandmaster
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    Mar 29, 2010
    16,643
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    Familyfriendlyville
    Expand the use of video. Ensure that the evidentiary rules require more and more recording so the trier of fact can see for themselves, e.g. expansion of IRE617 to include FSTs, Chompy sniffs, etc.

    When you have video, this happens: New York Judge Declares Mistrial After Prosecutor Claims Defendant Tried To Run Her Down . . . Later Video Disputes Account And Defendant Was Not In The Car | JONATHAN TURLEY
    As in require the allowance of video?

    Seems like it would be a backward move to require video simply for the sake of requiring video.

    I would add that the issue of granting unwarranted credibility to a particular side is not limited to those wearing a badge. Any agent of the state seems to be granted such.
     

    jbombelli

    ITG Certified
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    May 17, 2008
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    Have you spent much time in a courtroom? Credibility favoritism is given to both sides, not just the prosecution/police.

    I'll see how far that takes me next time I get a ticket for running a stop sign or something and the only evidence against me is someone else saying "I observed the defendant run the stop sign." I wonder which of us will be believed...


    Insert purple as needed.
     

    Frank_N_Stein

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    Beech Grove, IN
    I'll see how far that takes me next time I get a ticket for running a stop sign or something and the only evidence against me is someone else saying "I observed the defendant run the stop sign." I wonder which of us will be believed...


    Insert purple as needed.

    I don't have a 100% "win" record in court even though I've never testilied.
     

    phylodog

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    Mar 7, 2008
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    Arcadia
    Typically in a criminal court one side has something to lose and the other nothing to gain. I learned in my very first jury trial that I didn't care what happened in a courtroom. It is 100% out of my control and therefore nowhere near valuable enough to lie for, particularly under oath. Perhaps some agencies are different but I've never been asked about a conviction rate for arrests. It isn't a consideration for anything that might affect my job. The only thing I ever cared about was that the judge recognize that probable cause existed for the arrest. After that none of it matters.
     

    CathyInBlue

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    How about starting with "I have no recollection of that" responses? "I may have or may not have ________."

    How about requiring, as a condition of employment as a LEO, mandatory annual memory drills to confirm that the person enforcing the laws is actually capable of remembering basic facts of their own cases beyond the 6 months to a year time frame between the events and the trials? I had an officer in my case directly contradict his own arrest report on the stand. If you can't remember your own arrest report after a year, you don't need to be putting people's safety or liberty at jeopardy based on your failing powers of recollection.
     

    SmileDocHill

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    Mar 26, 2009
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    Westfield
    I have to chart and document everything I do all day. (healthcare provider) When it is part of your daily habit you really don't have a memory after a while. When someone comes in 6 months or a year later my "memory" is comprised of what I have read from their chart. Using actual memory just gets me in trouble.
     

    devil07

    Marksman
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    Nov 6, 2008
    184
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    East Side Indy
    How about starting with "I have no recollection of that" responses? "I may have or may not have ________."

    How about requiring, as a condition of employment as a LEO, mandatory annual memory drills to confirm that the person enforcing the laws is actually capable of remembering basic facts of their own cases beyond the 6 months to a year time frame between the events and the trials? I had an officer in my case directly contradict his own arrest report on the stand. If you can't remember your own arrest report after a year, you don't need to be putting people's safety or liberty at jeopardy based on your failing powers of recollection.

    Wow, no.
     

    ModernGunner

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    Jan 29, 2010
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    As long as no one is giving non-cops 10 years mandatory prison time (NO early release, NO good time, NO plea-bargaining) for lying, I'm not gonna worry too much, sorry. :dunno:
     

    VUPDblue

    Silencers Have NEVER Been Illegal !
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    25   0   1
    Mar 20, 2008
    12,886
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    Franklin Township
    How about starting with "I have no recollection of that" responses? "I may have or may not have ________."

    How about requiring, as a condition of employment as a LEO, mandatory annual memory drills to confirm that the person enforcing the laws is actually capable of remembering basic facts of their own cases beyond the 6 months to a year time frame between the events and the trials? I had an officer in my case directly contradict his own arrest report on the stand. If you can't remember your own arrest report after a year, you don't need to be putting people's safety or liberty at jeopardy based on your failing powers of recollection.


    In 2013 I made nearly 2500 traffic stops, over 200 arrests and wrote nearly 200 non-arrest reports. Are you saying that I should be REQUIRED to remember every detail of each of those interactions? Thats lunacy...and impossible.
     

    hornadylnl

    Shooter
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    Nov 19, 2008
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    In 2013 I made nearly 2500 traffic stops, over 200 arrests and wrote nearly 200 non-arrest reports. Are you saying that I should be REQUIRED to remember every detail of each of those interactions? Thats lunacy...and impossible.

    The other side of that coin is that on the jury trial I sat on, it was clear the Leo memorized his report for the trial. It was so scripted, it was obvious. Sounded so confident in what happened only to have the dash cam prove him wrong.
     

    CathyInBlue

    Grandmaster
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    If you were heading to the stand to testify as to the details of any of those cases, would you at the very least reread your reports to refresh whatever memory you have of the case at hand?

    Apparently, so much as that is beyond the purview of the THPD.
     

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