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Sunday, March 08, 2009


The American "justice" system

More news about how it really works - convict people at any cost, guilt or innocence notwithstanding:
For years, San Jose police never told anyone when fingerprint technicians could not agree about whether a suspect's prints matched those taken from the crime scene.

Instead, the police department's Central Identification Unit generated a report indicating that two technicians agreed the suspect's prints had been positively identified, while omitting that a third technician dissented.

The police stuck to that policy even after prosecutors and outside experts warned them they could not legally withhold the information from defense attorneys, and urged them to change their procedures. Last month, the department finally finished a slow-paced review dating back to mid-2007 and overhauled the policy so that the doubts are reflected, soon after the Mercury News filed Public Record Act requests about the issue.
This revelation comes just months after another withheld evidence revelation:
As hundreds of child-sex-assault convictions hang in the balance, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is backing away from its previous insistence that its prosecutors had no idea the medical examinations of suspected victims were routinely videotaped.

But the district attorney's evolving position only deepens the central mystery surrounding the tapes, which were made by a nurse working in conjunction with prosecutors to build child-sex-assault cases: Why did the district attorney fail to turn over this potentially critical evidence to defense attorneys, as the law requires?

The district attorney's concession that people in the office may have known of the taping represents a marked departure from the prosecutors' earlier position. District Attorney Dolores Carr wrote in February to the attorney who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants that "the district attorney's office had no knowledge" the examinations were taped.
It's a standard pattern. Conceal evidence from the defense in order to secure a conviction. Deny knowledge of any such concealment until it becomes impossible to do so.

"Justice" in America.

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