Bad cops, dropped charges

July 7, 2008
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In Indianapolis, there have been five police officers arrested for breaking the law in recent weeks - three narcotics detectives and two patrol officers. As a result of narcotics detectives’ arrests, some of the cases they’ve worked on are now being dropped by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Some already serving time for convictions based on evidence or testimony from these officers could get out on appeal.

This must be extremely frustrating for those in the prosecutor’s office to have devoted numerous hours and resources to a case, only to have the charges dropped. This can’t be the first time that prosecutors have had to drop charges because of a rogue cop, but to have it happen on this scale would seem to be an anomaly.

Do these kinds of incidents affect the morale in the prosecutor’s office when cases are dropped because of misconduct by the arresting officers? What about the money paid to investigate the charges and prepare for court – how much of an impact will these dropped cases have on the prosecutor’s office’s budget? And how do criminal defense lawyers and public defenders react to this kind of news? Are they delighted to have a new issue to bring up for their clients’ appeals, or are they disheartened about a breakdown in the justice system of which they also play an important part?
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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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