Home > Social Issues > Criminal Justice > Use Evidence Even if Tainted to Convict the Guilty

Use Evidence Even if Tainted to Convict the Guilty

Published Mar 22, 2005

We are told, “It is better to free 100 guilty men than risk convicting one innocent man,” but that is absurd. While no sane person wants to see an innocent individual go to jail, the above statement is fraught with error. Those “100 guilty” people will be free to prey upon, not one innocent person, but hundreds of innocent ones.

Because of the above warped, witless, and wicked principle the courts have swung to the extreme of protecting the rights of the accused at the expense of the abused. Thousands of felons have walked out of court (or never arrived there) because investigators followed numerous silly, senseless procedural rules–rules put in place to protect  crooks not to ensure fairness and justice.

The U. S. Supreme Court released a confessed rapist (who raped again) because 7 1/2 hours was thought too long a delay between arrest and arraignment! Sure, as a Supreme Court Justice said, “Justice delayed is justice denied,” but 7 1/2 hours?  In such cases, justice is being sacrificed on the altar of procedure and while procedure is important, it is not an article of faith.

In 1966, the U. S. Supreme Court handed down the Miranda decision whereby even voluntary confession of guilt could not be used as evidence unless the police officer “read him his rights.” If the constable bungles, the criminal goes free, and truth, justice, and the victims have no recourse. We all know that justice is blind, but we didn’t think she was stupid. Maybe we are wrong. Too often justice is deaf, dumb, and blind as well as stupid.

If a police officer is careless in gathering and handling evidence, the criminal should not go free. The question should be: Did the accused commit the crime? If so, he should get slammer time, and if the officer broke the law in getting evidence, he should be disciplined, demoted, or dismissed or even go to jail. He should not go to jail unless there was criminal intent.

Extreme procedural rules are unreasonable, unnecessary, and unwanted. They handcuff the cops, handicap the courts, horrify the citizens, and honor the criminal.

A man beat a young lady to death in California and after being read his rights (the victim had no rights) he refused to have a lawyer present. He waived all his rights and confessed to the murder; however, an appeals court tossed out his conviction (the judges should have been tossed out) because he hadn’t been permitted to see his mamma! Those judges should be out driving trucks and banned from the courtrooms.

A Pennsylvania man admitted killing his mother, sister and grandmother yet was released to freely walk the streets because the arresting officer told him that anything he said could be used “for or against” him. A court decided that the word “for” made his confession invalid! Why shouldn’t an accused person’s statement be used for him if it will help ferret out the truth?

Innocence or guilt can only be determined by having all the evidence–knowing all the truth and having it presented in court. How the evidence was obtained is not relevant to justice being served. It may affect the way police officers are trained, promoted, etc., but it should have no impact on the accused. Justice should be primary.

Police, judges, prosecutors, etc., must all be held accountable for their actions, and surely that includes the criminal. If he is guilty, put him in jail however the evidence was obtained. The basic question is: Did he do the crime? Is he guilty? If so, then sock it to him then go after the cops if they broke the law.

Sometimes the investigators make mistakes, get careless, get in a hurry or are simply uninformed. Such officers should not be treated like criminals but should be admonished and given further training to ensure that they do a better job the next time. However, the criminal should always be found guilty if the evidence substantiates it.

It is time to get serious about putting felons in prison, and we must stop putting unreasonable, unnecessary, and unworkable restrictions upon police officers. Let’s try to make their jobs easier rather than harder, and if they break the law then put them in prison.

Tags: criminal justice

Comments

4 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

George Calvas
Feb 11, 2009 5:30pm [ 1 ]

You have presented too much common sense for most of the judges, politicans and lawyers who has been raised in a communist evolutionary educational system!

A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

George

Rodney West
Aug 25, 2009 10:50pm [ 2 ]

This is a very difficult argument. How to balance the two, jailing the guilty but making sure the innocent go free? Different people have different views as to which side to err on. This writer obviously wants to err on the side of ‘convicting the guilty’ and believes that if the odd innocent person goes to jail, then so be it. Personally I take the opposite view. I never want an innocent to go to jail, so if that means the odd guilty person going free, then to me ‘so be it’.

Rodney West
Aug 25, 2009 10:54pm [ 3 ]

Our laws are based on the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ which means straight away there is a slight bias towards the accused, as the burden of proof is on the prosecution. But in a free democracy, this concept of innocent until proven guilty must be maintained, lest we become a dictatorship.

Rodney West
Aug 25, 2009 11:01pm [ 4 ]

Finally, your comments that we should ‘use evidence even if tainted to convict the guilty’, I disagree because if the evidence is tainted, how do you know the person is guilty? That is the whole point of evidence, to help decide innocence or guilt. If you allow ‘tainted’ evidence then you are corrupting the whole process. My summary is that we should not expect perfection in the judicial system, in a world where perfection does not exist. The judicial system is flawed just as the world is flawed. Best is to jail the guilty and let the innocent free. We would all be happy with that. But life is not always that simple, sometimes the courts will get it wrong and innocent people will go to jail and guilty will go free. If forced to err on either side, I would err on the latter simply because a guilty verdict is final and the persons life is ruined if they are innocent. A not guilty verdict is not final, the guilty person still may be caught

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