12/08/2002

12-08-02 - 1

12-08-02

There's been much hubbub lately of the five New York boys who have been found not guilty of the rape & murder in Central Park in 1989. The five boys confessed, but new evidence (and a new suspect) has led to them recanting the confession and their convictions being over-turned.

Why is there any surprise about this at all? University studies estimate that around 20% of the people in prison did not commit the crimes they are in for. And having a "confession" is almost anectodal evidence. Suspects are pressured to confess in many ways - with pure intimidation and physical violence, but mainly with promises that they'll be put in jail for much longer if they don't confess. These tactics are illegal, but widespread. The American criminal "justice" system is designed to put someone (preferably someone poor) in jail for the crime as fast as possible, whether they did it or not. The law enforcement establishment generally can't be concerned with complicated things like the truth or due process, which tend to get in the way of quickly finding a scapegoat.

Another fun development in this vein is the fact that a circuit court has recently ruled that "Enemy combatants" may be held prisoner indefinetely without being charged and with only the slightest evidence. These "enemy combatants" may be American citizens captured on American soil (though in all honesty, I don't understand why it's deemed reasonable to not provide non-citizens with the same due process rights as citizens). This is clearly the action of a police state, not a free democracy, and yet the puppet-courts are all too eager to uphold these gross violations of human rights that our commandant has inflicted upon us.

No comments:

old rants