Government Outrage Of The Day

Re: Government Outrage Of The Day

Postby Philly » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:51 pm

ToddStarnes wrote:That's an interesting idea. It would certainly cut back on prosecutor's willingness to bring charges they aren't certain of.

I really don't get why, of all the things you can sue for, being incarcerated awaiting trial and having your livelihood destroyed by criminal charges that don't hold up seems to usually just get filed in the "shit happens" category. Obviously it doesn't just happen. LEO's and prosecutors make it happen. What seems odd to me - and you can correct me if I'm wrong - but as I understand it, you can much more easily sue for damages if you're wrongfully convicted of a crime and serve a 6 month sentence than if you are held for 6 months awaiting trial before being convicted. While the wrongful conviction is just as unfair, it would at least suggest that they has a decent case since you got convicted.
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Re: Government Outrage Of The Day

Postby ToddStarnes » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:01 am

Philly wrote:
ToddStarnes wrote:That's an interesting idea. It would certainly cut back on prosecutor's willingness to bring charges they aren't certain of.

I really don't get why, of all the things you can sue for, being incarcerated awaiting trial and having your livelihood destroyed by criminal charges that don't hold up seems to usually just get filed in the "shit happens" category. Obviously it doesn't just happen. LEO's and prosecutors make it happen. What seems odd to me - and you can correct me if I'm wrong - but as I understand it, you can much more easily sue for damages if you're wrongfully convicted of a crime and serve a 6 month sentence than if you are held for 6 months awaiting trial before being convicted. While the wrongful conviction is just as unfair, it would at least suggest that they has a decent case since you got convicted.


Malicious prosecution is a cause of action (it's exactly what it sounds like). But it's hard to prove. And you're right about the distinction between being held or out on bail while awaiting trial versus being wrongfully convicted, but it's worth pointing out that in many cases you can't even really get effective recourse even if you are wrongfully convicted. '

I do see some problems with automatically giving people damages if they are acquitted, but perhaps the cause of action for malicious prosecution could be loosened up a bit to allow for people to recover when they go through the trouble of a trial, are acquitted, and the facts ultimately show that it was very weak case.
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Re: Government Outrage Of The Day

Postby IndependentProfessor » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:03 am

Philly wrote:
IndependentProfessor wrote:
Philly wrote:
IndependentProfessor wrote:
Philly wrote:Winchester is a well known fascist bootlicker. The cops dragged this guy through both the system and the mud for nothing. He has every right to sue for damages.


I agree wholeheartedly with that principle. If "the government" (police, DA, etc.) screws up something and it legitimately costs you time, money, reputation, etc., then they should be liable for those damages.

However, put the principle into the real world, and we get a whole host of problems. For instance, how do you define "legitimate"? Well, that can only come AFTER at lease some legal proceedings have taken place. In our litigious society, imagine how many people will sue the government because of an imagined harm! The old saying goes that you "sue the person with the money" - well, who is the richest actor of them all? The government. So, we'd end up with countless lawsuits.

Those lawsuits take people to run. More judicial personnel. More government personnel to defend. It would balloon the size of government, which is not something that most people want.

They arrested this guy threw him in jail and released his mugshot for the world to see, all based on their own f**k. The damage is very real. If you want to avoid having to pay people for shit like this, one easy fix would be to stop prioritizing drug arrests.


All very true. However, none of that means anything until it's proven in court. All someone has to say is "nope - he's wrong" and it goes to trial. Think about every acquittal that would result in a lawsuit for damages (legal fees, missed time, etc.). Heck, I'd file suit just because I went to court on a traffic violation. (not really - but you see my point)

The state should pay damages for people acquitted of crimes. Especially for then most serious offenses, you're sure to cause severe damage to the accused's life just by charging them.

I know you have a family and a good job and like the community you live in Prof. Now, imagine you're arrested and charged with rape and murder. You get acquitted, but you've been put in jail for months awaiting trial without bail, and your whole community has read news reports that make you out to be a dangerous criminal. Do you think you're just gonna get back to your life and career as it was? Of course not. Your shit is gonna be all f**k up and you'll probably never fully recover from it. Why shouldn't you receive compensation for that from the entity that caused you all these problems?


I totally agree with you. And, if it were me, I'd most certainly even give it a shot.

But, so is everyone else. And, I'm willing to bet that very few people are as restrained as me (in regards to filing lawsuits). There have been times when I could sue, and refrained, simply because I couldn't stand the thought of me being one of "those" people. So, if they allowed it, I'd expect to see everyone and their mothers filing lawsuits against the state for perceived wrongs.

Also, if this were to happen, think about the reluctance of a DA to file charges on anything but the most iron-clad cases. Say they had a guy who their think murdered someone. They could probably prove it, but nothing is certain. Juries are fickle creatures. Currently, they would file charges and hope for either a plea bargain to a lower charge (manslaughter) or an outright conviction. But, if the defendant thinks they can win, and in winning would get all costs recouped, what lawyer is going to advise them to plea bargain? And, a DA could decide his office simply can't afford a loss (in economic terms), so declines to prosecute.

Take it a step further. Think about how reluctant police officers are going to be to arrest people on suspected crimes, if they think that they could be sued afterwards. I mean, I'm all for holding people (police included) accountable if they make bad judgments, we just can't take it too far.

That said, I'd L-O-V-E to make the civil system into a winner-pays program.
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