View Poll Results: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes?

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  • Absolutely

    5 13.16%
  • Absolutely not

    22 57.89%
  • Both cops and the court system should be held liable

    7 18.42%
  • Other (please explain)

    4 10.53%
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Thread: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes?

  1. #81
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    Re: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Baralis View Post
    I chose other. Their are some situations that warrant compensation but not as a general rule. I have seen abuse by law enforcement and the DAs office that while "legal" was unethical.

    An example of this is someone I know. Law enforcement charged him 3 different times with charges and then let the time limitation expire (1 year). If he had been unable to bond out he would have spent 3 years in jail while never having been convicted of a crime. I wont get into all the details but I fully believe that it was intentional because of the long feud this person had had on a personal level with local law enforcement. I believe they knew full good and well they had nowhere nearly enough evidence to make a conviction but used it as a means of punishment or the removal of this person.

    Also their have been some rare occasions where the judicial system has clearly and sometimes intentionally convicted innocent persons. While this normally carries prison time, the time isnt nearly enough. Fairly recently (cant remember the case off hand, will look for it) a judge intentionally imprisoned a innocent person which spent over 20 years in prison. In return the judge was sentenced to like 6 years. I believe at a min. they should server a equal amount of time.
    Aha. He needs a good lawyer. That is criminal misconduct, and it is a crime.

    I'm not about to hamstring law enforcement, prosecutors and judges by allowing people to sue them for following the law and doing their jobs. However... and it's a big one... there certainly are instances of criminal conduct, i.e. perjury, evidence tampering, malicious prosecution, that should be vigorously prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Unfortunately, in too many instances, law enforcemednt and prosecutors are in collusion, and these cases are difficult to prove. Conviction should provide nothing less than ruined careers and huge prison sentences.

  2. #82
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    Re: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes

    I think cases that go to court and he is charged innocent should be reimbursed. To get charged for a crime and go to court cost money. You may be fired from your job, and you will lose hours. At least the accuser should pay out of pocket. If that happens to be the police, then they should pay.

  3. #83
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    Re: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The theory: Evidence is gathered, a warrant is issued upon probable cause; you are arrested, held in jail for a short while until you are tried by a jury of your peers and found guilty or not guilty.

    The reality: Arrests are more commonly made because the subject talks and gives away something incriminating, or has incriminating evidence on his person or in his home, or is ratted out by someone. Not a lot of Columbo or Murder, She Wrote detective work involved (nor CSI in most cases). Many get out on bond. Most use a public "defender" and plead guilty in return for a reduced sentence... that's assuming some pre-trial intervention doesn't occur resulting in probation or whatever. If you insist on a jury trial, it will probably take at least 1 year, perhaps 2 or 3, to go to court. If you can't get out on bond, oh well you sit in jail. ("Speedy" trial? Define speedy...)

    If you insist on a jury trial, the solicitor will be most reluctant to pursue one (they are expensive and very time consuming, and we don't have nearly enough courts to try all cases if everyone insisted on a jury trial), unless he is very nearly certain he can get a conviction. Now, once a while he will misjudge it and someone will walk, but most jury trials do end in conviction, and in punishment for making them go to all that bother they will probably give you a stiff sentence, like the maximum.

    The reality is that not many REALLY INNOCENT people reach the point of a jury trial. Some, yes... but the percentage is certainly small.

    If you actually go through all that and are found not guilty, I can see making the State reimburse you for lost time/earnings while in jail, legal fees and so forth. After all, a "speedy trial" these days is a YEAR OR TWO. Can you imagine knowing that you're innocent and sitting in jail for two years because you were denied bond? Pretty horrible idea. Imagine you have small children while all this is going on; imagine your mortgage is foreclosed while you're not earning.

    As for making cops pay for any kind of erroneous arrest out of their pockets.... basically you'd end up with cops refusing to arrest anybody without a signed confession and a bloody murder weapon AND a witness. Most cops don't make a lot of money and one such erroneous arrest would pretty much wipe them out financially. If you want anarchy and chaos by all means go ahead....
    I'd have to say I agree 100% with your statements. I should have focused on the question of the courts reimbursing the defendant rather than the police officer who made the arrest.

  4. #84
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    Re: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Remarkably enough I have come very close to being wrongfully arrested on several occasions.

    Twice involved mistaken identity. In one case the witness recanted when he saw me close up. In the other case the cops let me go when they could not establish that I was the person for whom a felony warrant existed (guy with the same name except for middle).

    The other case was a bit more complex.... it involved a State Trooper who didn't know the law as well as he thought he did. I was in the right.... but if I'd pushed the matter on the side of the road I might have gone to jail. Instead I let him have his way and called the State AG when I got home and got the matter handled.

    That's three times I nearly suffered a wrongful arrest... despite being an ex-cop.... so it's a good bet that it happens more often than some might like to think.

    Now the truth of the matter? I'm pretty darn sure (from prior experience) that 96-98% of the people who are arrested and charged (and either tried or cop a plea) are far from innocent. But I think whenever we DO come up with one that is REALLY AND ACTUALLY INNOCENT (demonstrably so), that he ought to be compensated fully for any losses pertaining to his incarceration and trial. I'm convinced that wouldn't happen very often.
    But an employer can still fire you for being arrested or for lying about an arrest. Heck, if you're on your way to work like I was and it takes two to three hours before they let you use the phone, then the chances of you being reprimanded by your employer only increases. What then? We're not even talking about trial but just being arrested. If the D.A. decides to dismiss the case before it even goes to trial, yet you've still been arrested and you're still without a job thanks to your arrest, is there some law that compensates you for your losses? You would know better than I. Also, I'm not 100% sure about this, but I believe I've seen the question asked, "have you ever been arrested" instead of "have you ever been convicted." I'm on my way to become a federal government employee and I'm almost sure this arrest will only put me at a disadvantage. My arrest record is now public and I'll have to pay money to get it expunged. Once the charge is cleared, why is it my obligation to be injured financially in order to expunge my own record? Shouldn't the record be expunged automatically, or shouldn't the courts pay to do it? If employers are now checking people's credit score and their facebook, I'm sure they won't hesitate to see if they've ever been arrested. And just being arrested, by itself, is enough to ruin your chances for a decent job.

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    Re: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    Only in the eyes of a progressive attorney. Employers own their businesses and can pretty much drop you for whatever reason they feel necessary, with the exception of disability and pregnancy.
    Depends on the state. At will states, you're right, employers can fire you for any reason or no reason at all. There are states however where the employer must have cause to terminate an employee. However, if they fired you for being arrested, but not convicted of a crime, you've certainly got a lock on unemployment as they had no just cause to terminate you.
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    Re: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    Well, let me see, if there's not enough evidence to convict you of a crime, does that mean you should have been tried in the first place? Are we all suspects of a crime until proven not guilty? Theoretically - yes, of course, with a few nanoseconds of reasoning, 99.9% are eliminated.
    Most of the time, the evidence is "overwhelming" ( at least in the opinion of the DA), but sometimes it turns out not to be (OJ Simpson case), this is not completely known until the trail concludes...
    Nothing can be perfect...

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    Re: Should individual police officers pay out-of-pocket for wrongfully charged crimes

    Think, O.J. Simpson. He was acquited. Does anyone think he was innocent? I certainly don't. When Ron Goldman's family sued they had no trouble winning. It apparently has to be repeated but being acquitted does not mean you didn't commit the crimes.

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