Saturday, August 27, 2011

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! When the Police Lie, the System Die

There are many, many examples, in the literature and in published cases and in daily court activity, where the police lie, and a sound criminal justice system would then discredit everything else the officer said [and maybe prosecute that officer for perjury], and a responsible prosecutor would not even try to get the court to rely on it. That's if we had a "sound criminal justice system." We do not.

In a case this past week, the officer testified: "Based on what the victm told me, I approached the defendant, commanded her to raise her arms and to turn around, and I searched her and found [       ]." On cross-examination I inquired "Now, Deputy, Ms [         ] was not free to leave when you approached her and searched her, was she?" "Oh, yes." I exploded: "Are you telling me that when you commanded Ms [       ] to raise her hands, turn around, and you started searching her, she could have told you to 'pound sand' and walked away?" "Yes!" "You know darn well, if a cop commands a person to raise her arms and turn around, and that person were to ignore the order and walk away, especially around here, that person would be shot!" DA: "Objection!"

The DA then went on to argue the substance of the officer's testimony on that and other things, and his "credibility" was the pivot point on a suppression motion and on the substance of the matter. And the judge, a dutiful recent graduate from a DA's office, had no problem with the perfidy and perjury.

When the government credits and relies on and argues lies, the system has died.  For shame, for shame!

Ask not why the Youth of today has diminishing respect for law and for the system; simply visit the criminal courts in any county of this State, and you will be faced with your answer.


  1. People often ask how I can go from being a police officer and prosecutor to being a defense attorney. I just smile and start telling them about all the injustices I saw as a police officer and prosecutor. Testi-lying is so common many don't even realize they are doing it. It all about being right and gettingthe conviction. Most of those that do it thump their chest about their integrity

  2. It would not happen if the judges did not close their eyes to the rationalized truth-shaving, and overt perjury, in the name of law and order. However, intergrity of the system, and its stewards, should be the highest value in a nation of law, but it sadly is not. The second level of protection, then, is the civilian jury, but they have increasingly abdicated their duties to please their government.


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