From: Michael Benveniste on
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 16:14:01 -0800, Savageduck wrote:


>> We expect our judges and juries to be impartial, but we shouldn't
>> expect the same thing from the police or state criminalists.
>
> Why not?

Because by its very nature, the system forces such a bias on them.
Rightly or wrongly, we judge the effectiveness of a police department
by the "solve" rate. In the case of a crime lab, their funding,
recognition and promotion depends on their work resulting in convictions,
not on exoneration.

In fact, the legal system recognizes that the bias exists and accounts
for it procedurally. That's why the the rules for questioning under cross
examination differs from that of direct testimony.

And when it comes to investigating alleged internal misconduct, such as
altering photos, police departments and other law enforcement agencies
recognize the potential for bias as well. That's why internal affairs
divisions exist. It's also why surveys consistently show huge majorities
(80+%) of people saying serious complaints against the police should be
investigated independently in addition to IAD.

> Your prejudice against police and state criminalists is showing.

I find it ironic that I'm being accused of prejudice because I imply
other people have bias. If you look at threads in different newsgroups,
you'll find people accusing me of exactly the opposite bias. I've been
challenged off of juries both by plaintiffs suing the State and defense
attorneys.

Who's right? Which bias do I have? How am I supposed to tell?
There's no way for anyone be objective about themselves. But from
verifiable facts, you'll see that there's no real reason for me to have
a bias either way.

I've never been arrested, charged, or (as far as I know) investigated for
any criminal activity. I haven't been cited for speeding ticket or any
other moving violation for almost 20 years. I've been the victim of an
armed robbery, of vandalism, and of credit card fraud, and in each case
the police dealt with the situation professionally. I've been a witness
for the prosecution in a felony theft case, and was treated fairly by all
parties. My wife has been a consultant trainer for both the State Police
and parole officers.

> The real biased opinions lie with the trial DA and the defense attorney.

That's the amazing thing about the adversarial system. Everyone thinks
everyone else is biased. I firmly believe that everyone is right in that
assumption.

I will say this, though. Defense attorney's _love_ it when cops claim they
aren't biased. Turning again to the O.J. case simply because most people
know the players, Mark Fuhrman got caught by one of the oldest tricks in
the book that way.

We all have biases. While a professional tries not to let them impact
their work, no one succeeds all of the time.

But thanks for the civics lesson.

--
Mike Benveniste -- mhb(a)murkyether.com (Clarification Required)
Its name is Public opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles
everything. Some think it is the voice of God. -- Mark Twain
From: Savageduck on
On 2010-02-14 09:06:11 -0800, Michael Benveniste <mhb(a)murkyether.com> said:

> On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 16:14:01 -0800, Savageduck wrote:
>
>
>>> We expect our judges and juries to be impartial, but we shouldn't
>>> expect the same thing from the police or state criminalists.
>>
>> Why not?
>
> Because by its very nature, the system forces such a bias on them.
> Rightly or wrongly, we judge the effectiveness of a police department
> by the "solve" rate.

I think closure rate rather might be a better label. Ultimately we take
the results of our investigations with our conclusions, present them to
the DA's Office and work with the DA investigators to weigh their
decision to move forward with prosecution or reject the case.
....and rejection by the DA's Office is something which happens more
frequently than the public would want to know.

> In the case of a crime lab, their funding,
> recognition and promotion depends on their work resulting in convictions,
> not on exoneration.

I have worked extensively with the California DOJ Forensic Lab, FBI
Labs and several private contracted labs. At no time have I perceived a
bias aimed at conviction. However once there was sufficient weight to
push the investigation in a certain direction, there was always an
effort to confirm and substantiate results to support conclusions.
>
> In fact, the legal system recognizes that the bias exists and accounts
> for it procedurally. That's why the the rules for questioning under cross
> examination differs from that of direct testimony.
>
> And when it comes to investigating alleged internal misconduct, such as
> altering photos, police departments and other law enforcement agencies
> recognize the potential for bias as well. That's why internal affairs
> divisions exist. It's also why surveys consistently show huge majorities
> (80+%) of people saying serious complaints against the police should be
> investigated independently in addition to IAD.

As a supervisory investigator, I have had the unpleasant job of being
assigned to several IA investigations and leading the investigative
interviews with mine & other agencies. Some of those involved Citizen
Complaints and others were for violations of Department rule, or
felonies they had been charge with.
These IA investigations and interviews are far different to what some
imagine, as they have to be conducted within the rules set out by
POBAR, or the "Public Safety Officer Procedural Bill of Rights Act."
Check Government Code Secs. 3300-3311
>
>> Your prejudice against police and state criminalists is showing.
>
> I find it ironic that I'm being accused of prejudice because I imply
> other people have bias. If you look at threads in different newsgroups,
> you'll find people accusing me of exactly the opposite bias. I've been
> challenged off of juries both by plaintiffs suing the State and defense
> attorneys.

Maybe I should have said, your illumination of the prejudice of the
general public with regard to Law enforcement.

>
> Who's right? Which bias do I have? How am I supposed to tell?
> There's no way for anyone be objective about themselves. But from
> verifiable facts, you'll see that there's no real reason for me to have
> a bias either way.
>
> I've never been arrested, charged, or (as far as I know) investigated for
> any criminal activity. I haven't been cited for speeding ticket or any
> other moving violation for almost 20 years. I've been the victim of an
> armed robbery, of vandalism, and of credit card fraud, and in each case
> the police dealt with the situation professionally. I've been a witness
> for the prosecution in a felony theft case, and was treated fairly by all
> parties. My wife has been a consultant trainer for both the State Police
> and parole officers.
>
>> The real biased opinions lie with the trial DA and the defense attorney.
>
> That's the amazing thing about the adversarial system. Everyone thinks
> everyone else is biased. I firmly believe that everyone is right in that
> assumption.
>
> I will say this, though. Defense attorney's _love_ it when cops claim they
> aren't biased. Turning again to the O.J. case simply because most people
> know the players, Mark Fuhrman got caught by one of the oldest tricks in
> the book that way.

Agreed. There was a botched trial if there ever was one, and Furman
certainly played his part as fuel for the Corcoran coup de gras.

>
> We all have biases. While a professional tries not to let them impact
> their work, no one succeeds all of the time.
>
> But thanks for the civics lesson.

Well the good thing about our little OT excursion was, it did not
degrade into the usual NG spitting and fuming.


--
Regards,

Savageduck

From: Peter on
"Savageduck" <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote in message
news:2010021409565311272-savageduck1(a)REMOVESPAMmecom...
> On 2010-02-14 09:06:11 -0800, Michael Benveniste <mhb(a)murkyether.com>
> said:
>
>> On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 16:14:01 -0800, Savageduck wrote:
>>
>>
>>>> We expect our judges and juries to be impartial, but we shouldn't
>>>> expect the same thing from the police or state criminalists.
>>>
>>> Why not?
>>
>> Because by its very nature, the system forces such a bias on them.
>> Rightly or wrongly, we judge the effectiveness of a police department
>> by the "solve" rate.
>
> I think closure rate rather might be a better label. Ultimately we take
> the results of our investigations with our conclusions, present them to
> the DA's Office and work with the DA investigators to weigh their decision
> to move forward with prosecution or reject the case.
> ...and rejection by the DA's Office is something which happens more
> frequently than the public would want to know.
>
>> In the case of a crime lab, their funding,
>> recognition and promotion depends on their work resulting in convictions,
>> not on exoneration.
>
> I have worked extensively with the California DOJ Forensic Lab, FBI Labs
> and several private contracted labs. At no time have I perceived a bias
> aimed at conviction. However once there was sufficient weight to push the
> investigation in a certain direction, there was always an effort to
> confirm and substantiate results to support conclusions.
>>
>> In fact, the legal system recognizes that the bias exists and accounts
>> for it procedurally. That's why the the rules for questioning under
>> cross
>> examination differs from that of direct testimony.
>>
>> And when it comes to investigating alleged internal misconduct, such as
>> altering photos, police departments and other law enforcement agencies
>> recognize the potential for bias as well. That's why internal affairs
>> divisions exist. It's also why surveys consistently show huge majorities
>> (80+%) of people saying serious complaints against the police should be
>> investigated independently in addition to IAD.
>
> As a supervisory investigator, I have had the unpleasant job of being
> assigned to several IA investigations and leading the investigative
> interviews with mine & other agencies. Some of those involved Citizen
> Complaints and others were for violations of Department rule, or felonies
> they had been charge with.
> These IA investigations and interviews are far different to what some
> imagine, as they have to be conducted within the rules set out by POBAR,
> or the "Public Safety Officer Procedural Bill of Rights Act." Check
> Government Code Secs. 3300-3311
>>
>>> Your prejudice against police and state criminalists is showing.
>>
>> I find it ironic that I'm being accused of prejudice because I imply
>> other people have bias. If you look at threads in different newsgroups,
>> you'll find people accusing me of exactly the opposite bias. I've been
>> challenged off of juries both by plaintiffs suing the State and defense
>> attorneys.
>
> Maybe I should have said, your illumination of the prejudice of the
> general public with regard to Law enforcement.
>
>>
>> Who's right? Which bias do I have? How am I supposed to tell?
>> There's no way for anyone be objective about themselves. But from
>> verifiable facts, you'll see that there's no real reason for me to have
>> a bias either way.
>>
>> I've never been arrested, charged, or (as far as I know) investigated for
>> any criminal activity. I haven't been cited for speeding ticket or any
>> other moving violation for almost 20 years. I've been the victim of an
>> armed robbery, of vandalism, and of credit card fraud, and in each case
>> the police dealt with the situation professionally. I've been a witness
>> for the prosecution in a felony theft case, and was treated fairly by all
>> parties. My wife has been a consultant trainer for both the State Police
>> and parole officers.
>>
>>> The real biased opinions lie with the trial DA and the defense attorney.
>>
>> That's the amazing thing about the adversarial system. Everyone thinks
>> everyone else is biased. I firmly believe that everyone is right in that
>> assumption.
>>
>> I will say this, though. Defense attorney's _love_ it when cops claim
>> they
>> aren't biased. Turning again to the O.J. case simply because most people
>> know the players, Mark Fuhrman got caught by one of the oldest tricks in
>> the book that way.
>
> Agreed. There was a botched trial if there ever was one, and Furman
> certainly played his part as fuel for the Corcoran coup de gras.
>
>>
>> We all have biases. While a professional tries not to let them impact
>> their work, no one succeeds all of the time.
>>
>> But thanks for the civics lesson.
>
> Well the good thing about our little OT excursion was, it did not degrade
> into the usual NG spitting and fuming.
>
>


I've been lurking in this discussion with interest. In real life I have seen
both sides, actually three sides of the issue. Most in law enforcement are
good people who try to do an honest job. there are some bad apples who
succumb to temptations. (e.go. Many years ago the newspaper headlines
declared that $350,000 was found at a crime scene. The defendant told me the
amount was closer to $500,000. Investigative dropsy is not an uncommon
occurrence in narcotics investigations. If a highway patrol officer does not
issue his unofficial quota of tickets over an extended period of time, he
will lose his seat. There are "pressures" to solve cases, especially
sensitive ones. There are law enforcement people who have taken shortcuts
that tends to exclude exculpatory evidence. Fortunately, this happens rarely
and the work of defense counsel and IA investigators keeps the bad apples to
a minimum. Just a short summary of my observations.

--
Peter

From: Wolfgang Weisselberg on
Kennedy McEwen <rkm(a)nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <deimn5dre5t9rb0168ik1givutcve79gm1(a)4ax.com>, John A.

>>I say that since there have been no RAW forgeries that any of us here
>>have ever heard of, the bar is in fact that low.

> Fortunately you aren't a lawyer and I certainly wouldn't want someone as
> casual as you conducting my defence (or prosecution for that matter)!

You'd want some lawyer who'd believe you innocent after seeing
you commit the crime live on television.

> As Rumsfeld said "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!"
> The fact that both Canon and Nikon sell Original Data Verification kits
> strongly suggests that people have tried, despite what you have failed
> to hear.

The absence of evidence ... good point, there is no evidence shown
of faked RAWs. It is interesting that nearly none of the new
'security' measures since 9/11 would have prevented the attack[1][2][3]
yet you'd cite it as strong suggestion that it would: after all,
the measures *are* in place.

http://www.tsa.gov/311/
http://xkcd.com/651/

-Wolfgang

[1] for example, no liquids in bottles larger than 100ml were
necessary! And a broken plastic bottle is nothing against a
ceramic knife, especially when it's deposited by the cleaning
crew beforehand.
[2] while it could have been prevented by agencies not sitting
on or not recognising relevant data.
[3] and the only attack that failed to pan out was when passengers
fought back. Based on that, one should *arm* passengers
(preferably with guns that don't hole the pressure chamber),
not disarm them ... but I digress.
From: Wolfgang Weisselberg on
Kennedy McEwen <rkm(a)nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <rnp057-acl.ln1(a)ID-52418.user.berlin.de>, Wolfgang
> Weisselberg <ozcvgtt02(a)sneakemail.com> writes
>>... but I digress.

> You certainly do, consistently!

Interesting that you have NO WORD to add to the arguments
against your arguments ... except some snide remark against
my person. Does that mean I am right?

-Wolfgang