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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How Does Justice Work For You?

"There is no crueler tyranny than that which is exercised under cover of law,
and with the colors of justice ..."

 - U.S. v. Jannotti, 673 F.2d 578, 614 (3d Cir. 1982)

Do you feel safe in your own neighborhood? Have you ever been victimized by a system of public servants who seem to care little about your rights? Armed with excuses and a pledge to keep the political status quo, these officials prove largely ineffective in their work. They serve to maintain an old, deeply rooted structure that defies any resistance to the power structure that keeps a boot on the throat of the poor and unconnected. In short, the network defies reform in favor of paternalism. The result is domestic abuse.

The spoliation of evidence is the intentional, reckless, or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding.   

(Black's Law Dictionary. 8th ed. 2004)

A closely related concept to spoliation of evidence is tampering with evidence, which is usually the criminal-law version of the same concept, namely when a person alters, conceals, falsifies, or destroys evidence in an investigation by law enforcement or by a regulatory authority.

The goal of spoliating or tampering with evidence is usually to cover up evidence that would be disfavorable to the doer in some way.

For this reason, enforcement officers should not "slant" their crime and arrest reports in favor of one or the other of the parties involved and, thus, jeopardize a person's rights with their personal judgment.

Instead, these civil servants should objectively set forth all available facts and evidence bearing on the issue of guilt and allow the prosecution to evaluate the disclosure requirements and permit the trial process to determine guilt and punishment.

Police officers must remain objective in their investigation and look at all possibilities, making certain that incident reports do not obstruct justice with inaccuracies.

Yet, in this real world, you must exercise some caution if you are calling for service as a crime victim. Some cops treat everyone, including obvious innocent victims, as suspects, attempting to force the innocent suspect to "prove themselves" to the satisfaction of the officers. Call in a crime and you might find you become victimized twice because of prejudice -- once by the perpetrator and once by the investigating officers.

Police are there to serve you, so you should be served and not harassed.

Then, of course, you must beware of the unjust and incomplete police report.

The fact is, when it comes to criminal investigation the police usually have their own best interests at heart. If they can palm the complainant off with a shrug of the shoulders or a wave of the hand, then they will do so. Furthermore, the police are encouraged by their superiors to avoid recording crime whenever they feel that they can get rid of the complainant, just to keep crime figures low. This, in itself, is an act of corruption.

Police in Portsmouth will withhold your access to a complete police report, even after the solicitor deems he will not pursue your case. They defy the law that states you should have access to a full copy of the detailed report including witness accounts, details of the crime, statements. etc.

On December 1, 1998, renowned Harvard Law School Professor, Alan M. Dershowitz testified before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee regarding the corrosive influences of perjury in the legal system throughout the United States.

Mr. Dershowitz concluded police officers are almost taught how to commit perjury when they are in the Police Academy. Findings about police perjury include the following:

* Police perjury is not anecdotal. Many commission reports prove rampant abuses in police departments throughout the United States.

* Judges and prosecutors tolerate if not encourage police lying in court all in the name of convicting the factually guilty.

* There are hundreds of thousands of police officers in the United States today that break the law and commit felony perjury as a calculated, premeditated offense designed to undercut the constitutional rights of unpopular defendants.

 (Testimony of Alan M. Deshowitz. House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee. December 1, 1998)
(Commission to Investigate Allegations of Police Corruption and the Anti-Corruption Practices of the Police Department, Milton Mollen, Chair, July 7, 1994)

There is a sense of powerlessness when citizens report a crime and find that nothing is going to happen other than it becoming a crime figure. Nothing is done because the system of justice only operates for those deemed worthy of equality by their political and social connections. These uninvestigated crimes damage communities and destroy people's well-being and quality of life.

We must take the fight for social, economic, and political justice to city hall and fulfill our obligation to change a corrupt system. It is our only hope for a stable society. This is as much a part if one's spiritual responsibilities as supporting a local church or helping friends in need.

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