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LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 16:56, critter wrote:
So what you're saying is that there are sixty thousand innocent people in prison?


I don't know how many total people are in prison, but if you mean in the United States, and if your 60,000 is based on the 3% I referred to (which would mean 2 million total in prison), then no, I'm not saying that.

That's 3% of criminal defendants. Not all criminal defendants are convicted, and I imagine the innocent ones have an even better-than-average chance of acquittal. Moreover, not all of the ones who are convicted are incarcerated. And not all of the ones who are incarcerated go to prison; some do short stints in the county jail.

So I imagine far fewer than 60,000 innocent people are in prison in the United States.

While I'm estimating, I imagine that far more than 60,000 innocent people have their lives severly harmed by that portion of the 97% who were released (after parole or serving out their sentence) or paroled.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
critter
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That 60,000 is based on an estimated 2.2 million prisoner total in the US.
And you don't need to quote statistics about the lack of incarcerating violent offenders to me, I've experienced the results of that failure first hand.
Of course, maybe if they didn't put innocent people in jail then there'd be more room for the guilty ones.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 17:12, critter wrote:
That 60,000 is based on an estimated 2.2 million prisoner total in the US.


Then, again, it was 3% of the *defendants* not 3% of the convicts (let alone the incarcerated ones).
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
critter
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Well then it's a flawed statistic.
Here are some sources that aren't one teacher's opinion:
http://www.truthinjustice.org/exoneration-study.htm
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ronhuff.htm
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Dannydoyle
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Innocent people go to jail. This is a fact and I do not dispute it.

Our system is set up to try to give ample opportunity to not let this happen. The exact number is not easy to figure out in the end, but there ARE people who did not do anything near what they are accused of in jail. Some through mistake, some through being framed, evidence helped, and things that are crimes in and of themselvs.

In the end this is why I do not mind at all the appeal process. If I were accused false or true of a crime, I would want EVERY opportunity you can imagine to set it different.

The system is not perfect because it was constructed by people. People are flawed. It is also people who oversee the system so again, it is flawed. It is not right to convict innocent people. I am not sure many would really argue with that position. Trying to construct a perfect system in which this does not happen is the trouble.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 17:30, critter wrote:
Well then it's a flawed statistic.
Here are some sources that aren't one teacher's opinion:
http://www.truthinjustice.org/exoneration-study.htm
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ronhuff.htm


The "one teacher" was also a criminal defense attorney, and he probably represented more defendants than were selected for the comprehensive study cited by the first link. The survey in the second link concludes that 0.5% of the index crimes convictions were of innocent people, which is certainly consistent with what I said about the 3% - that it represented the number of DEFENDANTS who did not do what they were accused of, not the number of CONVICTS (which would be a lower number). Indeed, 0.5 is more than 80% lower than 3.

The critique by Joshua Marquis in the first study is pertinent. Saying that someone who is "not guilty" as a legal term of art is not the same as saying that the person is innocent, or didn't do what he was accused of doing. When courts or governors overturn convictions, that means that due to a legal error, the admissible evidence does not justify a conviction. It doesn't mean the person didn't do it. The study was also run by a guy whose career is aimed at wrongful convictions, and could certainly have a bias in overstating the data.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 18:22, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-08-19 17:30, critter wrote:
Well then it's a flawed statistic.
Here are some sources that aren't one teacher's opinion:
http://www.truthinjustice.org/exoneration-study.htm
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ronhuff.htm


The "one teacher" was also a criminal defense attorney, and he probably represented more defendants than were selected for the comprehensive study cited by the first link. The survey in the second link concludes that 0.5% of the index crimes convictions were of innocent people, which is certainly consistent with what I said about the 3% - that it represented the number of DEFENDANTS who did not do what they were accused of, not the number of CONVICTS (which would be a lower number). Indeed, 0.5 is more than 80% lower than 3.

The critique by Joshua Marquis in the first study is pertinent. Saying that someone who is "not guilty" as a legal term of art is not the same as saying that the person is innocent, or didn't do what he was accused of doing. When courts or governors overturn convictions, that means that due to a legal error, the admissible evidence does not justify a conviction. It doesn't mean the person didn't do it. The study was also run by a guy whose career is aimed at wrongful convictions, and could certainly have a bias in overstating the data. Of course, everyone sees things through his own lens, but I wasn't referring to someone with a pro-prosecution bias. The opposite, if anything, but he's very rational and strives to be objective.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
critter
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You know, I have the utmost respect for my A&P professor. He has several degrees, including a BA in crime scene investigation and a PhD in comparative anatomy. In addition, he has 40 years of experience. 20 in the field, and 20 as a teacher. But he still gets stuff wrong fairly regularly. 1.There's human error. 2.New discoveries are made all the time.
Your teacher is subject to the same fallability.
By the same token, your own memory of these lectures could easily be just as skewed as witness testimony.
We can't rely on this one second-hand statement.
And to me, this provides a convenient model for the topic at hand.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 21:22, critter wrote:
You know, I have the utmost respect for my A&P professor. He has several degrees, including a BA in crime scene investigation and a PhD in comparative anatomy. In addition, he has 40 years of experience. 20 in the field, and 20 as a teacher. But he still gets stuff wrong fairly regularly. 1.There's human error. 2.New discoveries are made all the time.
Your teacher is subject to the same fallability.
By the same token, your own memory of these lectures could easily be just as skewed as witness testimony.
We can't rely on this one second-hand statement.
And to me, this provides a convenient model for the topic at hand.


It's not a memory of lectures; it's conversations that I had with him when I was curious about this specific topic, and it's not about "new discoveries." He was talking about his first-hand experience as a defense attorney, for years, representing a large number of clients, the overwhelming majority of whom did what they were accused of doing. Again, that doesn't mean that they were legally "guilty," as that is a term of art. It means that they did the act that the police and prosecutor believed that they had done. No interpretation, no remembering other people's studies. Just a steady stream of clients who, with very rare exception, had done what they were accused of doing. THat's how you get figures like 1 out of 200 (the 0.5% referred to in your second link) innocent people - the other 199 did it.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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Lobo,

Still just trying to clarify:

Is your claim that 97% of defendants brought to trial did the crime, or that 97% of convicted defendants did the crime?

Jack
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2009-08-20 01:44, landmark wrote:
Lobo,

Still just trying to clarify:

Is your claim that 97% of defendants brought to trial did the crime, or that 97% of convicted defendants did the crime?

Jack


My claim is that the overwhelming majority of defendants brought to trial did the crime. My belief is based, in part, on extensive conversations with a criminal law scholar and former criminal defense attorney who estimated from his personal experience (not inconsistent with his scholarship) that about 97% of defendants he represented (not convicted ones) had done what they were accused of having done.

That's not to say that wrongful imprisonment isn't a problem, or a horrible one, whether the number is 10,000 or 60,000, or 100,000. I'm just pointing out that there's a flip side. The cliche is that it's better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted, and I agree with that. But (aside from the fact (or the opinion, if you prefer, but I wouldn't expect that most criminal attorneys would disagree) that the ratio is greater than 10-1) we should bear in mind that those ten do a hell of a lot of damage after they've gone free. 100% accuracy would be great. But the only way to be 100% sure that no innocent people end up in prison is to stop putting ANYONE in prison.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2009-08-19 16:45, LobowolfXXX wrote:
My primary source would be my Advanced Criminal Law professor, who is a former defense attorney, Harvard Law grad, media consultant for stories involving criminal cases, and nationally recognized scholar at a top law school.


Where is JackScratch when you need him?
Tom Bartlett
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I personally think LobowolfXXX has been quite clear, and what he has stated is spot on.
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
stoneunhinged
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Yeah, but JackScratch would still find a way to disagree with him. Lobo is a bit too...uh...you know...interested in things like scholarship, expertise, footnotes, evidence, statistics, and...ah...em...things like facts.
critter
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We're arguing about a subjective number that you just stated was his informed OPINION and that doesn't really matter in the end.
How many innocent people rotting in jail is enough for you to start caring?
Many Sociology professors will quote a much higher number. Still doesn't make it true.
For me, one is too many. With either of our statistics, at least one innocent person is in jail.
You can either give an asterisk about that or not.

Quote:
On 2009-08-19 23:54, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-08-19 21:22, critter wrote:
You know, I have the utmost respect for my A&P professor. He has several degrees, including a BA in crime scene investigation and a PhD in comparative anatomy. In addition, he has 40 years of experience. 20 in the field, and 20 as a teacher. But he still gets stuff wrong fairly regularly. 1.There's human error. 2.New discoveries are made all the time.
Your teacher is subject to the same fallability.
By the same token, your own memory of these lectures could easily be just as skewed as witness testimony.
We can't rely on this one second-hand statement.
And to me, this provides a convenient model for the topic at hand.


It's not a memory of lectures; it's conversations that I had with him when I was curious about this specific topic, and it's not about "new discoveries." He was talking about his first-hand experience as a defense attorney, for years, representing a large number of clients, the overwhelming majority of whom did what they were accused of doing. Again, that doesn't mean that they were legally "guilty," as that is a term of art. It means that they did the act that the police and prosecutor believed that they had done. No interpretation, no remembering other people's studies. Just a steady stream of clients who, with very rare exception, had done what they were accused of doing. THat's how you get figures like 1 out of 200 (the 0.5% referred to in your second link) innocent people - the other 199 did it.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2009-08-20 14:58, critter wrote:
How many innocent people rotting in jail is enough for you to start caring?
For me, one is too many. With either of our statistics, at least one innocent person is in jail.
You can either give an asterisk about that or not.


I care about it, and I agree that one is too many. The system is both over-inclusive (in that some innocent people get convicted) and under-inclusive (in that some guilty people don't). I just happen to believe that far greater societal harm is caused by the guilty people who go free.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
critter
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I can see that. The problem you refer to is bigger than just guilty people getting off because of someone's incompetence though.
As an example:
Let's say that a violent, alcoholic, drug addicted offender goes to jail for attacking his girlfriend. Let's say he gets out in three months and breaks into her house and attacks her again. Let's say he goes back to jail for three months.
Let's say he gets out and breaks into her house and hides in the basement but this time her son chases him out of the house with a shotgun. He goes back to jail. In and out three more times. Then he gets high and steals a Hummer with a tracking system and drives it through a fence. This time he goes to jail for a year. Then he's back on the streets again.

That guy's my mom's ex-boyfriend, so I agree with your opinion that this is a problem too.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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