×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Jury Acquits Citizens of Illegally Filming Police

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the lights-camera-legal-action dept.

The Courts 277

sexybomber writes "The Springfield (MA) Republican reports two men accused of illegally filming the process as they bailed friends out of jail that last summer, were acquitted of all charges Tuesday. Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller initially were granted permission to film the bail process, but later were forbidden by jail officials from recording the procedure. When they continued to digitally recording their encounter with jail officials, they were arrested by police. Eyre and Mueller testified that they never attempted to hide the fact that they were recording at the jail. Not only did they ask permission to film the bail-out process — which initially was granted — but their recording devices were 'out in the open,' Eyre said. The Jury found the defendants not guilty of three criminal counts: Each was acquitted of unlawful wiretapping, while Mueller also was acquitted of a charge of resisting arrest."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

277 comments

Fully Informed Jury Association (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36829790)

fija.org [fija.org]

The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government.

The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. This means that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property. Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.

FIJA Works To:

Inform potential jurors of their traditional, legal authority to refuse to enforce corrupt laws;

Inform potential jurors that they cannot be required to check their conscience at the courthouse door;

Inform potential jurors that they cannot be punished for their verdict;

Inform everyone that juror veto—juror nullification—is a peaceful way to protect human rights against corrupt politicians and government tyranny.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36829926)

Dead cops make Jesus smile.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830426)

Jesus never existed and neither does god.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (0, Offtopic)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830570)

Oh, now, just because there is absolutely no contemporaneous evidence for Jesus doesn't prove he didn't exist. He was probably just such a lousy carpenter that he had to turn to astrology/storytelling to get enough food to eat. Unfortunately, that annoyed the Romans.

Or, perhaps this. [zazzle.com] :^)

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (-1, Offtopic)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830608)

Actually, there is plenty of evidence that Jesus existed, There just isn't much or any evidence that he was the son of god or the messiah or anything special and supernatural. All that is a matter of faith.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (0, Offtopic)

Arker (91948) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830686)

Actually, there is plenty of evidence that Jesus existed,

No, actually, there isnt. Feel free to prove me wrong, if you have 'plenty' of evidence it shouldnt be hard to cite some. It needs to be contemperaneous (which rules out the Old Testament and the Church Fathers, all of whom were at the very least many decades after the time) and we need someone that actually fits that new testament story in whole, not just in parts (Yeshua Ben Pantera for instance is a partial fit but clearly not a full one.)

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830812)

According to those standards there are several other historical figures of the same era that never existed.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (0)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830886)

By these definitions, I can definitively prove that your great-great grandparents never existed.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831040)

Great-Great Grandparents were probably born ~100 years ago. Contemporaneous sources from that period (Birth certificates, town hall records, newspaper clippings if they ever did anything notable) are still pretty accessible, depending on the area in which they lived.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831086)

Here's the thing. I *had* great-great grandparents; because I'm here. That's how we get here. So we can establish the validity right up front that such great great folks definitely existed. The storybook Jesus had no offspring, so that line of evidence is closed.

Next, I never claimed that my grandparents were magical creatures, able to convert water into wine, walk on water, etc. So we can assume we're looking for normal people, which we also have evidence existed.

Next, odds are pretty good that we can find others talking about my great greats, people who actually knew them. This is because (a) they absolutely did exist, and (b) they were moderately well known individuals. In fact, as it turns out, I have reams of this stuff (I maintain the genealogy for my family, so it's actually in my hands.) I've even got my great-great's state department paperwork. Awesome stuff. No crushing of citizen's rights at the border for them, no sir. But that's another lament.

Jesus, a miracle working dude of magical incarnation, existence, actions and exeunt... you could hardly be more stand-out in a crowd... well, as it turns out no one -- NO ONE -- from his time even noticed him enough to write down "cured a leper." That all came later. As the evidence to date indicates, anyway. Doesn't that strike you as... at least curious? Magic dude inspires NO reaction? And then there's the story, which indicates the opposite: he made quite a splash, according to the gospels. Something seems definitely wrong here.

Now let's consider: we know that there have been exactly zero instances of miracles or magic demonstrated under reasonable test conditions. So we tend to treat reports of them as imaginary, at least if we're smart. Now, we find a story about Some Magical Dude in a book that is stuffed with stories about miracles and magic. There's no other evidence that didn't essentially come from the same place as the book: The Christian cultists.

Now why, I ask you, should we give any more credence to these cultists than we do, for instance, to those who told us of Zeus and so forth? Using the same standards (that is, if the story is magical, it's nonsense), all supernatural issues are discarded. And as Jesus was very much a supernatural portion of the Christian narrative, he goes first, UNLESS we can find contemporaneous evidence that confirms his existence through other means. Reports by people who were born after him don't count; we want reports from his contemporaries. Even a receipt, for instance "cross, nails, spear, crown of thorns, crime: annoyed the heck out of ol' Pontius, name: Hayzuess of Nazereth" would be of great interest. But there is nothing at all. When we have contemporaneous evidence, we accept that part of the story has some relationship to reality; for instance, we know from many sources that there were Romans; the story contains Romans; there is a relationship there. What it is is something we can talk about, but we agree there is such a relationship of some kind.

Or, as was put most eloquently: Extraordinary events require extraordinary proof. My great-great-grandparents, lovely though they were, were not extraordinary. Jesus, however, is said to be so by the story. Consequently, our standards for proving he existed must be similar. Yet he fails even the most basic tests for existence: he left no mark on his contemporaries. So we don't, in fact, know he existed.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (-1, Offtopic)

BZ (40346) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831352)

There are two distinct claims in the Jesus story:

1) There was a guy living around that time who did some preaching and had a following.

2) This guy performed miracles and such.

You're arguing that because #2 is highly unlikely and has no evidence for it that means that #1 is also highly unlikely and has no evidence for it. That's a logical fallacy. You may want to read http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2011/05/nailed-ten-christian-myths-that-show.html [blogspot.com] for a slightly longer discussion of the subject, but the short story is that Occam's razor suggests #1 is probably true, while #2 is probably false.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831310)

Hell, I'd be amazed even if you could use the Old Testament to prove Jesus was around.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830816)

Actually, there is plenty of evidence that Jesus existed

I stated that there was no contemporaneous evidence. I suggest you look that word up, make sure you know precisely what it means and that you understand why it is a critical criterion, and then let fly.

I'm looking forward to this. :^)

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (2)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830914)

You guys do not exist. I can find no contemporary peer reviewed journal cross referenced to definitive findings by contemporary experts saying that either all or any of you actually exist or existed at this time or any other. I will attribute all you 'sage' words as just a statistical anomaly caused by cosmic rays, and further proof that slashdot needs to invest in ECC ram on all their servers.

-The great thing about ./ is that 90% of people here (including me) are full of shit 110% of the time.
-There are only 3 people in the world who are not faggots, Jesus Christ, Ronnie Coleman, and Chuck Norris. If you are not one of those people, guess what...
-I dont' no how 2 do sigs.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831198)

That's not really being funny, it's just watering down the intelligence of the argument and surmising what an ignorant person would say. Just stick with "Your fly is down. Ha, made you look!" please.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (5, Informative)

ericartman (955413) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830140)

jury nullification---its a good thing
BTW the last time I was being questioned for service on a jury I asked the judge about it and I was dismissed and thanked for my time. I have yet to be called for jury duty again.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (4, Interesting)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830444)

jury nullification---its a good thing

Would this also apply to, say, an all white jury acquitting a KKK member of bombing a church and killing 4 young black girls?

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830488)

No, and I'll explain why. The same all white jury would not acquit a Black Panther member who bombed a church killing 4 young white girls.

The issue is that the jury needs to be opposed to the law in general, not it's application in a specific case.

Meaning, only if you truly believed that bombing and murder should be LEGAL FOR EVERYONE should you vote to acquit.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (3, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830710)

Wrong on all counts. First of all, jury nullification only requires one juror. Second, that juror can vote their conscience, regardless of what drives it, and can indeed cause a failure to convict, even when the entire world might (perhaps quite rightly) think otherwise. Third, there's no "should" about how the jury nullification power is, or can be, used. It's not specifically about legality, it's not specifically about innocence, it's not specifically about appropriateness or exceptional circumstances. It's simply about one or more juror's unwillingness to convict, period, end of story.

The only counter forces to this are (1) the other jurors and their arguments, and (2) the court's continuing attempts to hide the jury nullification power from jurors, to the extent that if it is even brought up, they'll typically declare a mistrial -- and that's a tool other jurors can use against someone who is attempting jury nullification; simply bring it up when the jury files back into the courtroom. Bang: end of trial, and they'll select a new jury.

Also, just as an aside, for the person who is intending, for whatever reason, to attempt to use jury nullification, a strategy that may avoid the above countermove is not to mention nullification at all, but simply to insist that you cannot in good conscience convict.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830926)

I was referring to whether or not it was a "good thing" and not whether or not it was jury nullification.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831096)

Well, you were probably right on the former (assuming the girls weren't serial killers, for instance), and definitely wrong on the latter.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (5, Interesting)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831066)

I think you're confused about what "jury nullification" means. It is not the right of a single juror to decide not to vote to convict -- it is when a jury reaches a verdict that is contrary to the law. Thus, by definition, it has to be all 12 people -- otherwise there is no verdict. Jury nullification is not a mistrial, its not a hung jury.

The law says "this act is a crime"; the judge interprets and applies the law (including determining if the law is valid or not, and such), and the jury then determines the *facts* of the case -- they determine what is true and not true, evaluating evidence and deciding what did, or did not, happen. Then they use those facts to determine if the law was violated or not: but the law is the law. They aren't (in general) supposed to determine if the law itself is invalid, if the act itself shouldn't really be a crime or not, or what not.

Jury nullification isn't about a juror voting their conscience, or failure to convict -- jury nullification is about the jury looking at the facts, deciding that the person did do the thing, and voting not guilty *anyways*, thus... (especially if it becomes a pattern) nullifying the law itself, as it applies to that case at least.

Yes, its a power juries have innately, by being... juries, and there's nothing you can do to take away the power, really. But its not, in general, SUPPOSED to be their part of the job to counter and nullify law. That's what the legislature and the judicial branches are supposed to do. Juries are the triers of fact, not law.

Jury nullification can be used for good or ill. You can have them vote not-guilty in some tragic one-off case where despite the law, in the interests of justice and their conscience, they can't convict someone due to extenuating circumstances. Or, a community can decide that killing black people is A-OK, and in effect essentially nullify the law against murder so that it only says "thou shalt not kill white people".

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831130)

You are wrong. You have done no study of the history of the jury. The jury was created out of laziness of a British nobledude who didn't want to babysit every trial nor have the citizens rioting over some obtuse magistrate. The jury accomplished this for him because he no longer had to reside over lawmaking or trials. Read up on it. Also read up on the very first hearing of the U.S. Supreme Court, which included a jury, of which the very first thing they were instructed on was their right to vote not guilty based strictly on disagreement with the law itself.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (-1, Flamebait)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831186)

Jury nullification would never happen in modern America. Americans are for the most part a bunch of docile sheep. Never would you get any random 12 Americans to agree in principle to jury nullification. Good luck finding 12 random Americans who even know what this is. A Not Guilty verdict, sure, but never will all 12 jurors acknowledge "nullifying" the law.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831402)

here is where you are wrong, innate powers of a jury cannot be denied. juries are in fact triers of both fact and law because of the power of nullification. that judges and prosecution have conspired and collaborated to suppress this knowledge is not relevant to the truth of the matter.

you cannot get rid of this power to try the law itself without abolishing the jury system.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (-1, Troll)

nibbles2004 (761552) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830854)

your a racist , that's all i got to say, but you are, your a racist, go back to the 18th century, "all black jury acquitting black panthers killing 4 white girls", why didnt you say that, because you judge people on there colour, and you judge people who are white, shame on on you D'SPHITZ ID : 699604 you sad person.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831076)

jury nullification---its a good thing

Would this also apply to, say, an all white jury acquitting a KKK member of bombing a church and killing 4 young black girls?

Honesty? Nothing is perfect.

Automobles kill 10s of thousands of people every year. Should we get rid of all automobles?

Some police officers are going to arrest citizens recording police activity on public property. Should we get rid of all police officers?

Some politicians are going to be corrupt. Should we get rid of all politicians? Ok, maybe there's some merit to that.

Sometimes, maybe, an all white jury is going to acquit a KKK member of bombing a church and killing 4 young black girls. Or, in a well publicized case, a black jury acquitted a black celebrity of killing his white wife. Should we get get rid of jury nullification?

There's an old saying, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. It's an old saying because we occasionally need to be reminded of it. In this case, just because jury nullification will be used, occasionally, in ways you don't approve of, most of the time it's a valuable tool, as the OP stated, as "a peaceful way to protect human rights against corrupt politicians and government tyranny."

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

jammer170 (895458) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831162)

Yes. This would also be true if an all black jury acquitted a Black Panther of bombing a church and killing 4 young white girls. Why? Because it is far better to let a million guilty people go free than to convict a single innocent person (or, to let stand one bad law).

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (2)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830892)

"BTW the last time I was being questioned for service on a jury I asked the judge about it and I was dismissed and thanked for my time. I have yet to be called for jury duty again."

Same here.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830368)

The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. This means that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property. Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.

While true, a trial by jury is also one of the most conspicuously bad good ideas anyone ever had [wanderings.net] .

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830752)

"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830576)

I'm sympathetic to your cause but wan't this a less controversial case of the jury not considering the the actions of the defendants illegal? I mean this was not jury nullification as much as plain old 'they didn't break the law?'

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (4, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830844)

Yeah. This was more a case of "You idiot prosecutor, the law you charged them under has nothing to do with this case and is completely inapplicable. Oh, and by the way, we don't agree with the trumped-up 'resisting arrest' bullshit you tried to tag on either."

From comparison of experiences of numerous acquiantances, friends, co-workers, and family who have ever dealt with police, "resisting arrest" is a bullshit charge they throw in just to punish people for bothering to assert their right to trial instead of plea-bargaining guilty.

The plea bargain system is about forcing the innocent to plead guilty, nothing else. [latimes.com]

offtopic: jury nullification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830646)

This isn't a case of jury nullification, at least according to the blurb, and the fine article.

They were acquitted of the charges. There was no noble rejection of bad laws in this news, and no citizen wielded her power as a juryman to refuse to convict.

I certainly don't want to be thought of as against the dissemination of what really is a neglected view of jury duty, but really if you want teach it this isn't an example and you should make that clear in your post.

This article is a fine example of corrupt and overweening power of the justice system used against innocent citizens. The law was shoehorned to fit the prosecutor's case against them, but why they were attacked is not answered, only that they didn't really do the thing's the law forbids.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830856)

Haven't citizens already passed judgment on a law in the very process of creating it? What is the point of having a duly elected legislature to conceive, debate, amend, and enact laws, if the laws can be nullified at their point of application by a jury, who was not elected but drawn randomly from the population? (Or not so randomly -- read up about voir dire. [wikipedia.org] ) It seems to me that fully informed juries would only weaken a democracy, not protect it from the excesses of tyrants.

Re:Fully Informed Jury Association (4, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831172)

Haven't citizens already passed judgment on a law in the very process of creating it?

Not in the USA. The citizenry have nothing to do with crafting the law here. That's done by legislators, pre-selected by the political party machines, where both said political machines and legislators work for lobbyists, who in turn represent special interest groups such as "Drill, baby, Drill", "Zygotes Are People Too", "OMFG homos!, LLC" and the hon. Rev. Dumbkopf, Holy Leader of "Mythology Should Control Sexuality." In the process, they typically ignore their solemn oaths to obey and defend the constitution that authorizes them to even have jobs making law which is required to conform to the constitution; even above and beyond that, they don't think the process through and almost uniformly create waves of unintended consequences (prohibition is the poster child for that one, not by any means alone but certainly one of the most high-profile foulups our government has ever entered into); and they hardly ever go back and fix anything they've broken. Even when it harms the living heck out of said citizens, obviously, publicly, and with great regularity.

Basically, it's a madhouse. Our legal system sucks rocks, doesn't address fairness or justice worth a darn, and is not uncommonly completely unauthorized to our form of government. Also, it is basically a form of institutionalized corporate fellatio. So those of us who are actually paying attention tend to be very grateful for the opportunity to redress a few of the government's many, many wrongs with low-level tools like jury nullification.

Not justice (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829838)

There won't be justice until we can hold the people who arrested and tried these men accountable.

Re:Not justice (1, Informative)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829896)

There won't be justice until we can hold the people who arrested and tried these men accountable.

What was wrong with the trial? It seems that part of the process worked correctly. The arrest is where the problem was.

Re:Not justice (4, Insightful)

Nittle (1356899) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829946)

The DA should have dropped these charges.

Re:Not justice (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830170)

The DA should have dropped these charges.

That would have happened before the trial (or separately). The actual trial, in the courtroom, in front of the judge and jury, worked properly. Each person did their job and acted according to their responsibilities and the law. All the problems occurred before the trial started.

Re:Not justice (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830024)

Hatta didn't say anything was wrong with the trial. Just like you said, "the arrest is where the problem was" so the next step is to sue the police department for the arrest, and hopefully get compensation for the jail time and legal fees. An acquittal doesn't stop the police from abusing their power the very next time this happens. And the judge should inform the police that they cannot refuse to allow the filming at all, should they choose to do so next time.

Re:Not justice (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830144)

Hatta didn't say anything was wrong with the trial. Just like you said, "the arrest is where the problem was" so the next step is to sue the police department for the arrest, and hopefully get compensation for the jail time and legal fees. An acquittal doesn't stop the police from abusing their power the very next time this happens. And the judge should inform the police that they cannot refuse to allow the filming at all, should they choose to do so next time.

Yes he did... "There won't be justice until we can hold the people who arrested and tried these men accountable."

Re:Not justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830760)

Hatta didn't say anything was wrong with the trial. Just like you said, "the arrest is where the problem was" so the next step is to sue the police department for the arrest, and hopefully get compensation for the jail time and legal fees. An acquittal doesn't stop the police from abusing their power the very next time this happens. And the judge should inform the police that they cannot refuse to allow the filming at all, should they choose to do so next time.

Yes he did... "There won't be justice until we can hold the people who arrested and tried these men accountable."

Uhh.... no he didn't. To say that there are persons who should still be held accountable for not dropping all charges long before the trial even began (those who tried these men) is not to suggest that the trial itself was improper or at issue in any way.

Re:Not justice (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830156)

Suing may get you money but remember where the money comes from. So that still doesn't stop the police from doing what they did. They don't pay YOU and I Pay. The officers must be fired,the DA must get Fired for brining the case to court. He is a criminal lawyer so he should have known the laws.

Re:Not justice (2)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830246)

Suing may get you money but remember where the money comes from. So that still doesn't stop the police from doing what they did. They don't pay YOU and I Pay. The officers must be fired,the DA must get Fired for brining the case to court. He is a criminal lawyer so he should have known the laws.

The money comes from the police department budget. And the people responsible for that budget are elected officials. Since beading money to highly public lawsuits is really good way to get tossed out in the next election, the officials are inclined to take action against those who caused the mess.

Re:Not justice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830026)

The people abusing their power by claiming he was resisting arrest to load on bad charges on top of bad chargers should be punished for abusing their authority. That's what's wrong with the trial.

Re:Not justice (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830128)

The people abusing their power by claiming he was resisting arrest to load on bad charges on top of bad chargers should be punished for abusing their authority. That's what's wrong with the trial.

All that happened before the trial. The trial isn't where the charges come from. Once the trial actually started everything went correctly.

Re:Not justice (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830354)

So the only thing wrong with the trial is that there was a trial.

Re:Not justice (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830532)

So the only thing wrong with the trial is that there was a trial.

Aagin, that isn't a problem with the trial, it is a problem with the arrest. If the bad arrest hadn't been made it never would have gone to trial. The trial was a direct result of the arrest. When you jump off a 10 story building and get hurt hitting the ground, you don't blame the ground, you blame the jump. The judge did not make the arrest, did not set the charges, and did nothing wrong. He followed proper procedure. The judge (as the one trying the case) was not to blame for any of it.

Based on the OP's statement (with the key word bolded) of "There won't be justice until we can hold the people who arrested and tried these men accountable.". There is NO reason to hold the judge accountable for any wrong doing, as he isn't the one who arrested them, or set the charges, all he did was try the case.

Re:Not justice (1)

aevan (903814) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830620)

Isn't there a stage you're missing.. between the initial arrest by the officers and the actual trial..say, an arraignment, where the charges could have been dismissed?

Re:Not justice (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830758)

There is plenty of reason to hold a good many people accountable. The police for making the unjustifiable arrest, the DA for pressing forward with criminal charges in spite of the obvious injustice, and the JUDGE for not sanctioning the DA.

Judges have the authority AND the responsibility to throw a trial out early if it cannot succeed as a matter of law. That is, if the facts as laid out by the DA cannot support a criminal charge, that charge should be thrown out on the spot. They also have a responsibility to sanction a DA who brings charges that cannot be justified by the facts.

Most particularly, it is the judge's responsibility to make sure that the court does not become a crude bludgeon used as a punishment against those who annoy the police and the DA.

As far as relative guilt goes, the judge should probably get off with a reminder of those important responsibilities. The DA and police should face more significant sanctions.

Re:Not justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830350)

Nothing was wrong with the trial. The problem is that it went to trial.

Next time the DA _might_ remember this and decide to drop charges, but it is still hell to put someone innocent through a trial even when the verdict is eventually correct.

Re:Not justice (0)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830546)

Nothing was wrong with the trial. The problem is that it went to trial.

Next time the DA _might_ remember this and decide to drop charges, but it is still hell to put someone innocent through a trial even when the verdict is eventually correct.

Agreed. but the OP said he wants to hold the person who TRIED the case responsible. That's the judge. All I was asking was why he wanted to hold the judge responsible for a bad arrest.

Re:Not justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831418)

Wrongful arrest and detention is, in fact, brought against the government quite frequently, but the odds are ridiculously in favor of the law enforcement officials. And even when the courts find in favor of the plaintiff, most of the time, no restitution is seen. I agree that this abuse of power is unfortunate, but the fact is that a person can only bring to justice a law officer through the courts of law. And in that forum, the citizen becomes a rabble rouser in the eyes of many court officials, simply by the act of questioning authority.

Third box. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36829858)

Good on ya, America, for remembering the third box - the jury box - as the last line of defense, and for using it in the correct order.

To become second? (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829924)

Traditionally, it goes soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box. But with powerful media corporations corrupting the electoral process [pineight.com] by choosing which issues and which candidates for public office to play up and which to play down on national TV news, should the jury box be moved in front of the ballot box now?

Re:To become second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830216)

Powerful corporations can only corrupt the electoral process only so far as the voters allow themselves to be corrupted.

Most voters have been corrupted (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830462)

Voters who allow themselves to be corrupted by the MPAA's soap box outnumber voters who care about free speech. Now what?

Re:Most voters have been corrupted (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830678)

You suck it up buttercup. That's all the thrills and benefits of having a democracy elect your republic for of government. Now get out there and sign up more ignorant idiots to run to the polls come November and elect the candidate I convince their friends to tell them to vote for because they aren't smart enough to turn the lights out when they leave the room.

In case you missed the point of that, as long as we have idiots voting, we will have idiots elected. as long as idiots are elected, we will have the MPAA's of the world convincing them that their rights reign superior to ours. And if you think this is a republican/democrat/tea party thing, you just might be one of those idiots. This lunacy is universal in politics.

Re:To become second? (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830484)

Powerful corporations can only corrupt the electoral process only so far as the voters allow themselves to be corrupted.

So, you're saying 100%, then? I mean, disregarding for the moment that the voters only have choices from Democrats and Republicans, which someone once quite conservatively characterized as a choice between a shit sandwich and a turdburger... so once we get someone out and replace them, the replacement, being a member of one of the two parties that have put us in our present, seriously screwed up situation, is virtually guaranteed to continue in the same vein.

Also disregarding that a great deal of the process that screws with the citizens isn't electoral, but buried in the appointments process, and therefore out of reach -- we can't do anything about the supreme court judges who in case after case violate their solemn oaths, for instance, nor do we have any effective control over the FCC's preventing any significant use of the RF spectrum by the people, reserving that for corporations exclusively (speaking as an EE with extra class ARO and (now) general commercial licenses, btw.) The list goes on -- a great deal of the governance we receive (right after we're instructed to bend over) comes from non-elected sources.

Re:To become second? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830552)

Do you learn about the candidates vies from the traditional media, or from each candidates web site? The broadcast media has a much dimished role in being all you know about your choices. This is a wonderful change,

Re:To become second? (1)

timholman (71886) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830680)

nor do we have any effective control over the FCC's preventing any significant use of the RF spectrum by the people, reserving that for corporations exclusively (speaking as an EE with extra class ARO and (now) general commercial licenses, btw.)

As a licensed amateur myself, I'm curious what you would envision as a "significant use of the RF spectrum by the people". The garbage you can hear on SSB is bad enough, and we hams are licensed and tested. My guess is that any move to "open" the spectrum to the lay public would result in something like 4chan without the good manners and taste. :-)

I'm no big fan of the FCC, but the RF spectrum is too valuable to be ruined by a tragedy of the commons. It needs supervision and oversight, or it becomes worthless to everyone.

Re:To become second? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830928)

Oh, I completely disagree. The ISM band has been by far the most used chunk of the spectrum because it's not supervised and lacks all but the lightest of oversight (making sure devices don't spew all over other spectrum and conform to max power requirements). I say we need to make about 10x the amount of spectrum that is currently held over for the general public available for unlicensed use. There should absolutely be licensed bands available for semi-exclusive use to insure reliable communications for certain applications but they shouldn't constitute 99% of the spectrum like the well bought Congress seems to be pushing for.

Re:To become second? (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830960)

As a licensed amateur myself, I'm curious what you would envision as a "significant use of the RF spectrum by the people".

Low power (community level), local AM and/or FM and/or television broadcast stations. RF networking. All unregulated except for signal quality and channelization. Those are the ones that we would benefit most directly from, at least as far as I've given it thought.

My guess is that any move to "open" the spectrum to the lay public would result in something like 4chan without the good manners and taste. :-)

I don't disagree, but it would *also* open the spectrum to the occasional citizen with valuable content to offer, and therefore give others a chance to hear what they have to say, as opposed to the corporate/government combined viewpoint. As long as basic channelization is maintained, individual signals would be discernable, and so one could browse and choose as one saw fit.

I'm no big fan of the FCC, but the RF spectrum is too valuable to be ruined by a tragedy of the commons. It needs supervision and oversight, or it becomes worthless to everyone.

I see that as disingenuous. As a ham, in fact particularly as a ham -- you should know full well that giving a bit of spectrum to the public, using type-approved gear, won't cause the rest of it to become unusable or decrease its social value or otherwise cause any significant spectrum related trouble at all.

For instance, hand off 10% of the AM, FM, and television bands for local, low power use, and now... what "tragedy" occurs? Corporations have a little less ground to try and sell us Gold Coins, Coast to Coast has a little less spectrum to tell us about Ghosts and UFOs and Hollow Earth, and television has a little less spectrum to pour evangelistic Christianity and "reality" shows down our throats. I don't see it as a potential tragedy; I see it as a glorious victory for the common man, and a step up the ladder of civilization.

There are over 100 usable broadcast channels in the US between 540 and 1700 KHz; Assigning ten of them for local use would result, I think, in a most interesting burst of self-expression from the public. A lot of it would be trash, of course, but -- just for instance -- one might encounter a well spoken atheist, or a libertarian, or a socialist, or a communist -- all people we *never* get to hear from or talk to within the confines of the corporate/government controlled airwaves. And that's not even counting what could happen with similar allocations of FM and television channels.

I think it is important to consider that free expression is valuable, and it is also important that note that we have very little of it, when you get right down to it, as far as the airwaves go.

And as for RF networking... right now, corporations have engineered a government sponsored monopoly. I'd like to see that end, straight up. I think it's disgusting, at best.

Re:To become second? (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830262)

Traditionally, it goes soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box.

We're in that awkward stage where it's too late to vote them out but too early to shoot them

Re:To become second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831046)

Not to mention they want our guns... they are trying to take all our boxes.

Re:To become second? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831492)

Traditionally, it goes soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box.

We're in that awkward stage where it's too late to vote them out but too early to shoot them

If we keep waiting, it's going to be too late to shoot them.

Re:To become second? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830324)

Traditionally, it goes soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box. But with powerful media corporations corrupting the electoral process by choosing which issues and which candidates for public office to play up and which to play down on national TV news, should the jury box be moved in front of the ballot box now?

No. Control the media with the zeroth box: the lock box, namely your wallet. It's the cheap version of the soap box. Don't like Rupert Murdoch's corporatist media empire? Tell other companies you won't buy products advertised in his papers. Don't like the fact that the Godless Liberals at Disney have a "Gay Day"? Don't buy their movies, don't go to the amusement park.

The jury box may not prevent bad politicians from getting elected and passing bad laws, but it's not supposed to. The jury box is a failsafe against politicians who no longer represent their constituents.

When people attempt to use the ballot box as a failsafe against the jury box, Bad Things happen. Consider the course of events if we switch the jury and ballot boxes: a bunch of citizens get mad at their fellow citizen jurors (soap box), and demand (via ballot box) that their politicians Do Something (because the jury box, in this scenario, comes first). Next thing you know, there's another "{Megan|Kyleigh|Jessica|Dru|Caylee}'s Law", with all the side effects that come from laws named after dead kids. Passed with the full endorsement of the politicians - who use the very media you're worried about - to win at the ballot box. That's not exactly what I call failing safe; that's a feedback loop.

America's got its faults, but its legal and political system - as flawed, creaky, and corrupted as it may be - really isn't that bad. Keeping it working isn't easy. But nobody ever said it was supposed to be easy.

MPAA's soap boxes are bigger (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830452)

Control the media with the zeroth box: the lock box, namely your wallet.

Citizens who don't care about the lock box outnumber me. Even if I myself boycott The Walt Disney Company over the Bono Act, so many more people in my country don't boycott Disney than boycott Disney that Disney remains profitable, and home broadband ISPs still pay Disney for ESPN3.com access whether I want it or not.

The jury box is a failsafe against politicians who no longer represent their constituents.

The Bono Act and the DMCA had enough bipartisan support to pass by unanimous consent procedures. This shows that politicians no longer even attempt to represent me as a constituent. The media gatekeepers would in fact probably just refuse to cover any candidate who represents me. Their soap boxes are bigger than those of free speech advocates.

Re:MPAA's soap boxes are bigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831378)

Citizens who don't care about the lock box outnumber me.

Me too. So we stay on the the soap box until there are enough citizens who think like we do -- so many that the results at the ballot box are necessarily altered. (You know, like the fundies did to get creationism in the schools. The difference between them and us is they hijack^H^H^H^H^H^Hjoined their local party organizations, sent their supporters to political conventions as delegates, ran for school boards, and worked their way up the ranks. It took the bastards 30 years to hijack a major political party, and while I despise their goals, I have to respect them for their execution in pulling it off.)

But back to those dumbass citizens who don't care? The ones who outnumber us? Guess what - there's only one class of citizenship, which means those citizens have rights too. They even have the right not to give a damn. (Same way as I have the right not to give a damn if two dudes wanna get married. Same way as some fundie has the right not to give a damn about the food he feeds his kids at McDonald's as long as it's hard for his daughter get an abortion.)

The Bono Act and the DMCA had enough bipartisan support to pass by unanimous consent procedures.

The same jury box that saved the day in this case is equally capable of saving the day in a DMCA case. It just hasn't happened yet, and a big part of the reason why is that MAFIAA is scared they'd lose if it ever went to trial. They're even scared to take civil copyright infringement claims to trial, let alone criminal ones.

Yeah, if one of us were appointed Emperor, it'd be easier to get our way. But that's precisely why It's not supposed to be easy. And that sucks. But in addition to nothing ever having been written about it being easy, I don't remember anything about it being that much fun, either. Citizenship is work.

Re:To become second? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830372)

No, it's just that we tried that option and it did no good so we move on to the next. Should the jury box also fail, grab the guns.

Another victory for Cop Block (4, Interesting)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829864)

Cop Block is a brilliant resource for those wanting information on abusive state practices.

As always, government needs to be on a short leash. Give these folks too much power and they'll abuse it time and time again.

Re:Another victory for Cop Block (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830494)

Give these folks too much power and they'll abuse it time and time again.

Way, way too late. :^(

It happens. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830142)

Once in college I had to bail a friend out of Orleans Parish Prison after an overnight stay. I was taking a photography class at the time and brought my 35mm. They stopped me as soon as I walked in and said no photography of any kind was allowed. Presumed innocence and such, major disruptions from people not wanting their pics taken, etc. I was directed to a wall of pay-lockers by the door.

I didn't argue - wouldn't have wanted my picture taken (even inadvertently) on the worst day of my life either.

FreeStaters? (1)

omi5cron (1455851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830336)

aren't these two members of the FreeState group? (keene, n.h. possibly?) nice going, hope more of this trend emerges. filming open police work should NOT be a crime.

it's always "resisting arrest" (2)

PJ6 (1151747) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830366)

I love it how every questionable incident with the police involves a charge of "resisting arrest".

Maybe it's a good predictor of BS.

Re:it's always "resisting arrest" (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830436)

Visions of Eric Idle yelling "Help, help, I'm being oppressed! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!" keep popping into my mind. Which is stupid as this is a serious subject. My bad, bad brain.

Re:it's always "resisting arrest" (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830712)

That's always a fun one, but I love how they tried to apply wiretapping.

I mean, wtf!?

Re:it's always "resisting arrest" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831398)

When a Cop says you are under arrest, you are.
When as a pissed off civilian you try to avoid arrest.. there you go.

Now should you be falsely arrested. There are many Lawyers who would would be happy to help you.

One is compelled to wonder... (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830398)

When people start "borgifying" themselves by having implants that record everything they hear and see, what's the law's position going to be on recording in that regard?

Re:One is compelled to wonder... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830550)

I suspect it'll be EMP - Tasers are the precursor for it, they're already using these "non-lethal" weapons, even though they do cause the death of the occasional alleged perpetrator.

How well do you think the electronics that make up the borgification will function after a few ma at 50kv wanders through the circuitry? You can test this easily; get a little camera PCB (about $10 most places now), hold it in your hand, scuff your feet on the rug for a few minutes, and then still holding the camera PCB, touch the ground prong of an AC outlet with any part of the camera PCB. Then try to use it.

So it'll go like this: Suspect turns on the borgification; police zap the suspect; borgification stops working permanently. There's no record of anything except that which the police provide, and the status quo is maintained. As for the costs of the damaged implants, well, you were obviously "resisting arrest" (aren't we all?) and consequently you get to bear them.

Next case: The People vs. Presumed Guilty Guy; all stand, be seated, swear on this book of mythology that you'll tell the whole truth, nothing but the truth, and that you won't mind a bit when we disregard everything you have to say in favor of remarks by this 100.1 IQ guy in a blue suit. And don't say anything to the jury about jury nullification or we'll declare a mistrial.

Re:One is compelled to wonder... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830722)

You talk like the board would be embedded naked with no protections whatsoever.

This would be retarded for a variety of reasons!

The system would be closed and shielded, and the I/O points-of-entry would be protected from such things. Fuses or breakers, if you will.

Re:One is compelled to wonder... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830824)

That'd be a serious problem if the person they use the device on happens to also have something like, oh... say... a pacemaker.

Re:One is compelled to wonder... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831218)

Yes, it is. Research "taser deaths"

Wait a sec... you didn't mean to imply that the cops / government would care if they knocked someone's pacemaker out, did you? Oh, you funny, funny person, you. :^)

Re:One is compelled to wonder... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831316)

Tasering somebody isn't remotely certain to kill them. Disabling somebody's pacemaker is almost guaranteed to. The number of people who utilize pacemakers is several orders of magnitude larger than the number of people who die from being tasered

Copblock.org (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830468)

Congrats to Pete and Ademo! These guys have been, often alone, pushing the bounds of keeping cops accountable, which of course often leads to them ending up behind bars. Most of the time they have charges against them dropped, but apparently the prosecutor in this case saw it necessary to push it to trial. Good thing the jury saw the light. Perhaps this case will motivate politicians to come up with clear legislation banning cops from arresting citizens for filming or recording their actions; maybe holding cops personally liable for their actions would be a good place to start since right now they cannot be sued personally and they simply do not care what the outcome of a case it.

Cops better be careful.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830472)

Little Brother is watching you.

Refreshing. The power of the Jury (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831062)

But you know, this isn't where it ends. The abusive cops are still going to do what they want to do. Worse, they think they are right to do so.

But with all this police hate moving about here these days, imagine what it would be like if they decided the job wasn't worth doing any longer. Perhaps the good ones would be the last to quit.... perhaps the first. There are still very real bad people out there and they are ready and willing to do you harm for fun and for profit. We need some balance.

Still. Bad cops have got to go. And they need to understand that they are bad. They have the "right" to behave as they do exactly as the burger flipper has the right to do unspeakable things to you food.

Re:Refreshing. The power of the Jury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831286)

Rubbing balls on your fries makes them juicier. Besides, I thought you wanted some special sauce.

About Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831338)

We need more cases brought before a jury of peers.

Fantastically simple as it seems, it does render justice.

Bravo.

And we may still argue the merits thereof and the addmissible
evidence.

Within the statute of limitations a new trial and a new jury with
deposition of new evidence can be arranged within the law.

Justice served yet again.

--//

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...