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Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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  • The Rube
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post
    They get asked in many criminal cases. Smerconish was asked the same question and answered the same way and wasn't rejected.

    It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no there. Almost everyone answers that yes.

    Also, that's not a white lie. You can't lie in court. That's a big ****ing deal.
    Gee, you can't lie in court?! Really?

    What I'm saying is, people may truly believe they are impartial, so they would say "no," when in fact, they actually are partial.

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    They get asked in many criminal cases. Smerconish was asked the same question and answered the same way and wasn't rejected.

    It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no there. Almost everyone answers that yes.

    Also, that's not a white lie. You can't lie in court. That's a big ****ing deal.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Rube
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    I served jury duty (was not on the actual jury) for a cop case a while back. I was asked flat out, "If it's word against word, and all other things being equal, would you take an officer's word over a suspect?" I said yes, and was then removed from the pool.

    They do ask these questions, and yes, I suppose some tell that white lie because they want to believe they are impartial. But questions like those DO get asked of potential jurors.

    Leave a comment:


  • burd
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
    Juries give the benefit of the doubt to cops because of the way the rules are framed by the judge. By all rights police officers should be held to a higher standard than civilians but the opposite is actually the result. There is an automatic presumption that the officer is in a dangerous situation, simply because he or she is a cop approaching a person in the course of their duty.
    Cite? Rules as in jury instructions or as in rulings on motions. Jury instructions are standard, and deviation is a ripe subject of appeal, so judges try to stick with them. How do you trace presumptions to the judge?

    Leave a comment:


  • WeAreNDHockey
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
    I think I explained the reason why the conviction rate for officers is not the same as it is for a run of the mill criminal case. Juries tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the officers.
    Juries give the benefit of the doubt to cops because of the way the rules are framed by the judge. By all rights police officers should be held to a higher standard than civilians but the opposite is actually the result. There is an automatic presumption that the officer is in a dangerous situation, simply because he or she is a cop approaching a person in the course of their duty. When the shooting starts, that proves the presumption. It's azz backwards. When the juries -- who actually almost always end up doing things they way they are instructed -- hear a judge tell them basically to take it on face value that the officer feared for his or her safety, they then correctly find there is at least some justification. Murder and manslaughter charges ought to have a high bar to hurdle whether the person is a civilian or a cop. But the cop gets a far wider latitude to be able to prove he or she was "reasonably" fearful for their safety.

    Another problem that has been touched on in these threads before, but not lately, is the fact there is no standardized way of tracking officer involved shootings, because there are no state or federal rules about them. We have no way of knowing for sure how often this even happens. That is likely the biggest joke of all. We give cops a lot of leeway when it comes to using deadly force. Because of the job we we ideally like them to do, this is in large part necessary. But because of that, two things seem quite simple in their logic. One, we track the use of deadly force to make sure we are training cops properly and hiring the right ones to begin with (neither of these is happening in modern policing). And two, we hold people with a high responsibility and who receive (allegedly) a butt ton of training in the use of force to a higher standard when they use that force.

    As a parallel example, if a civilian reasonably offers first aid at the scene of an emergency, whether that be a car crash, cardiac arrest, whatever, Good Samaritan laws protect that person from civil or criminal liability if the person is harmed or dies, even if the civilian did something not quite right. Basically if your dinner guest keels over, give them CPR, you aren't going to be held liable. But if a fully trained, licensed paramedic or an ER doctor gives first aid and that first aid is not generally reasonable or prudent, they CAN be held liable if someone is harmed by their actions. Why are cops not held similarly responsible?

    Leave a comment:


  • Wisko McBadgerton
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by Shirtless Guy View Post
    Statistical methods might not agree, but if a case gets past a grand jury which is rare for officer involved shootings, why shouldn't it have similar odds of conviction to the general population? Isn't that the question? the vast majority of officer involved shootings don't go to a grand jury or don't get past a grand jury...so once we get over that hurdle, it seems like the 80 that are left should be similar to general population. Granted your point stands that 80 might not be a enough, but when is it enough? At what point can we compare because part of the problem is there should never be enough officer involved shootings to be significant enough or we'll have an even bigger problem than we already have...
    Nothing says for certain it doesn't have similar odds as all other cases. But nothing says it does either.

    I grant you that it may very well seem like it should be similar. It's highly probable though that there are sufficient differences (variables) in types of cases, say between police shooting and shoplifting; or rape and DUI, that no number of police shooting verdicts will ever converge to the average result of all others, unless its by chance.

    What a person trying to compile a formula to sort this out would do is start with what Hovey has done. Find a difference and try to assign a value to account for that variable's effect. He may very well be correct that convicting a professional like a police officer or a doctor in front of a jury is just much harder to accomplish because of how they're viewed. It seems logical to me. Of course there are lots of other independent variables to be accounted for as well and it's difficult to estimate their value. Maybe you'd just be better off with a large jury reading all the cases and forming an opinion as to whether the juries followed the law and gave a correct verdict. That's probably as good as it gets.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shirtless Guy
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
    I think I explained the reason why the conviction rate for officers is not the same as it is for a run of the mill criminal case. Juries tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the officers.

    In a way it's kind of like civil cases. I think the Bureau of Justice keeps statistics on civil lawsuits, and I read somewhere that something like 50 or 60% of people who sue another person in a car accident case receive a jury verdict in their favor.

    But, if you sue a doctor in a medical malpractice case your chance of success drops to something like 20%. I can't state it as fact, but I believe its for the same reason cops don't get convicted as often. Juries tend to give doctors the benefit of the doubt, or at least a greater benefit than that given to your average defendant.
    I posted something similar...we give them the benefit of the doubt because we need to believe that police do the right thing. I think that's backwards. Police should be held to a higher standard because we give them this responsibility and when they screw up...they need to be punished.

    Leave a comment:


  • SJHovey
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by Shirtless Guy View Post
    Statistical methods might not agree, but if a case gets past a grand jury which is rare for officer involved shootings, why shouldn't it have similar odds of conviction to the general population? Isn't that the question? the vast majority of officer involved shootings don't go to a grand jury or don't get past a grand jury...so once we get over that hurdle, it seems like the 80 that are left should be similar to general population. Granted your point stands that 80 might not be a enough, but when is it enough? At what point can we compare because part of the problem is there should never be enough officer involved shootings to be significant enough or we'll have an even bigger problem than we already have...
    I think I explained the reason why the conviction rate for officers is not the same as it is for a run of the mill criminal case. Juries tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the officers.

    In a way it's kind of like civil cases. I think the Bureau of Justice keeps statistics on civil lawsuits, and I read somewhere that something like 50 or 60% of people who sue another person in a car accident case receive a jury verdict in their favor.

    But, if you sue a doctor in a medical malpractice case your chance of success drops to something like 20%. I can't state it as fact, but I believe its for the same reason cops don't get convicted as often. Juries tend to give doctors the benefit of the doubt, or at least a greater benefit than that given to your average defendant.

    Leave a comment:


  • trixR4kids
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Right, DAs typically don't take cases they don't think they can win. That's why they don't try the weird statutes he mentions like alienation of affections and they do consistently win cases backed by hard science ie DUIs. So while 80 is a small sample and we don't know technically what the true conviction rate should be, I don't see a ton of reason to think it should be drastically different from whatever the manslaughter conviction rate is other than the fact that police know their rights and aren't gonna just instantly confess.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shirtless Guy
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by Wisko McBadgerton View Post
    Ok one more try.

    The point about it being only 80 is minor to the problem. I showed how selecting 500,000 coin flips out of a million would still give you a wrong result. But I'll try a different tack: Let's say you know as a fact that all mammals average 8 hours of sleep per day. Using the same reasoning you're using here you commence your own study of giraffes expecting naturally, that they will sleep about 8 hours a day as they are mammals. Much to your dismay, the giraffe's you study must all be sick because they are only sleeping 3.5 hours a day!

    What is wrong here? "Well Wisko, you idiot, I have you this time because I sampled 20,000 giraffes and therefore have a 99% confidence level +- 1! Ha! And they are all mammals and they are all suffering sleep deprivation! Call the ASPCA you goon!"

    Except all giraffes do in fact only sleep 3.5 hours a day and they are fine. The EXPECTATION that they would sleep eight is based on the faulty notion that there is a relationship between the average number of hours all mammals sleep, and the number of hours the subset 'giraffes' sleep -- because statistics! But there isn't a relationship like that.* For example the subset 'brown bats' sleeps 20 hours a day. A probability relationship would exist if you took a random sample across all mammals, but not if you just sample giraffes. There is not just "a bit of variance", there is no effective relationship. The correct number of sleep hours for an eastern spotted skunk could be anything!

    Here we are taking the subset 'cops' (plus, no doubt, other variables) excluding all others and EXPECTING a result that is equivalent to the average result of all other cases. Why? Is it because that fits in with what we think it should be? That's fine, but it doesn't come from the numbers.

    I suspect the conviction rate for 'alienation of affection' is quite low these days. DUI conviction rates are fairly high. The best we can say right now from the data presented is that a cop has a roughly 1/3 chance of being convicted in a jury trial. And even that is suspect.


    *Theoretically, you possibly could come up with a formula that estimates values for all giraffe variables and spits out the generally correct answer. But we're not doing that for giraffes and certainly not for all the variables connected with high profile court cases in front of juries. If we could, the answer for cops may be 20%, (like giraffes) or 90% (like brown bats). We don't know!
    Statistical methods might not agree, but if a case gets past a grand jury which is rare for officer involved shootings, why shouldn't it have similar odds of conviction to the general population? Isn't that the question? the vast majority of officer involved shootings don't go to a grand jury or don't get past a grand jury...so once we get over that hurdle, it seems like the 80 that are left should be similar to general population. Granted your point stands that 80 might not be a enough, but when is it enough? At what point can we compare because part of the problem is there should never be enough officer involved shootings to be significant enough or we'll have an even bigger problem than we already have...

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
    I'm pretty sure that as recently as 2014 in Minnesota, both houses of the legislature were controlled by the "liberals," as was the Governor's office. Certainly by that date issues relating to police shootings were well-documented, yet the "liberals" did nothing to change the law which might have resulted in a conviction in this particular case.
    Excuse me, we prefer the term libruls.

    But you are correct. That's on the legislators for not doing it and the liberals for not holding them accountable.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wisko McBadgerton
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by trixR4kids View Post
    You're the one who used the five coin flip false equivalency to start us off so yeah...

    Your point on it only being 80 cases is well taken and yes there's probably a bit of variance from the average due to it being a smaller sample and not random. But it's still incredibly far off from the average and knowing how these cases always unfold there's zero reason to assume the most drastic variance in your favor. You're also ignoring the grand jury part, grand jury ---> trial happens the vast majority of the time (something like 99%) and that number is definitely not the same for police.
    Ok one more try.

    The point about it being only 80 is minor to the problem. I showed how selecting 500,000 coin flips out of a million would still give you a wrong result. But I'll try a different tack: Let's say you know as a fact that all mammals average 8 hours of sleep per day. Using the same reasoning you're using here you commence your own study of giraffes expecting naturally, that they will sleep about 8 hours a day as they are mammals. Much to your dismay, the giraffe's you study must all be sick because they are only sleeping 3.5 hours a day!

    What is wrong here? "Well Wisko, you idiot, I have you this time because I sampled 20,000 giraffes and therefore have a 99% confidence level +- 1! Ha! And they are all mammals and they are all suffering sleep deprivation! Call the ASPCA you goon!"

    Except all giraffes do in fact only sleep 3.5 hours a day and they are fine. The EXPECTATION that they would sleep eight is based on the faulty notion that there is a relationship between the average number of hours all mammals sleep, and the number of hours the subset 'giraffes' sleep -- because statistics! But there isn't a relationship like that.* For example the subset 'brown bats' sleeps 20 hours a day. A probability relationship would exist if you took a random sample across all mammals, but not if you just sample giraffes. There is not just "a bit of variance", there is no effective relationship. The correct number of sleep hours for an eastern spotted skunk could be anything!

    Here we are taking the subset 'cops' (plus, no doubt, other variables) excluding all others and EXPECTING a result that is equivalent to the average result of all other cases. Why? Is it because that fits in with what we think it should be? That's fine, but it doesn't come from the numbers.

    I suspect the conviction rate for 'alienation of affection' is quite low these days. DUI conviction rates are fairly high. The best we can say right now from the data presented is that a cop has a roughly 1/3 chance of being convicted in a jury trial. And even that is suspect.


    *Theoretically, you possibly could come up with a formula that estimates values for all giraffe variables and spits out the generally correct answer. But we're not doing that for giraffes and certainly not for all the variables connected with high profile court cases in front of juries. If we could, the answer for cops may be 20%, (like giraffes) or 90% (like brown bats). We don't know!

    Leave a comment:


  • Scarlet
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Sadly, I don't think we'll see any change until a Black cop kills a white teenager.

    Leave a comment:


  • Handyman
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
    Imho, these conviction statistics posters are citing are all explained by the exact same fact, and certainly not due to any sort of prosecutorial effort, or lack of the same. What these statistics show is that when these incidents are presented to 12 members of the public, the public wants to believe the police officers, they want to think the police officers did the right thing, and they give the officers a tremendous benefit of the doubt. As a result, criminal cases result in a high degree of conviction when it's the cop testifying against the defendant, and a much lower rate of conviction when it's basically the defendant testifying against the cop. Cops serve as our modern day Lancelot. We want to trust and believe in them. It helps us sleep.
    This is very true. No matter how much people may distrust cops overall when it comes to a trial juries would rather assume (even blindly so) that the officer wasnt acting with malice or didnt make a mistake. They dont want to think otherwise cause to do so calls into question the entire system.

    It is also why you will never see a President removed from office. Once that actually happens the entire Presidency and the Executive Branch will fall into disrepute.

    Leave a comment:


  • Handyman
    replied
    Re: Cops 4: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Originally posted by SJHovey View Post
    I'm not criticizing you personally Handy, but the day people throw up their hands and say there is nothing they can do about it because "they" in the government just won't agree to it is the day we've lost. You are definitely not alone in feeling this way. I understand that. In fact, it's one of my primary gripes because too often it feels to me like people working in the government feel that way, too, like they are a separate entity and it's "us versus them." But the legislature is us, and we are the legislature. If we cede that authority, then a pox on us.
    Oh I plan to make my voice heard at the ballot box...but right now we are very far away from that. In this moment there just is not much that we can do to make things better except hope the people who can make a difference listen to us.

    Leave a comment:

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