Author Topic: When Prosecutors Contradict Themselves  (Read 43 times)

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Offline MH

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When Prosecutors Contradict Themselves
« on: November 11, 2017, 09:20:34 am »
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/13/two-murder-convictions-for-one-fatal-shot

Apparently there are at least 29 cases where prosecution has contradicted itself in order to get convictions.  The case at the outset of the article is an example where one of two men murdered someone but it isn't known which.  So prosecutors pursue two separate cases, with contradictory arguments, to get a conviction in one.  They get two convictions.  So one man has been convinced of murder who is definitely innocent.  ( That's the theory, anyway, and the point of this thread. )

As the Supreme court said a long time ago "justice will be done".  Not "convictions will be done".

Interested to hear your thoughts.

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Offline Rue

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Re: When Prosecutors Contradict Themselves
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 01:27:04 pm »
The article you quote deals with American criminal law. Each state in the US defines its own criminal laws and whether a death penalty is warranted for homicide.

The key to the article you quoted is this sentence:

"Under the legal principle of accomplice liability, a defendant can be convicted of murder without being the killer. But, if the prosecutor says that a defendant pulled the trigger, itís easier to ask a judge or a jury for a death sentence."

To start with we have no death sentence in Canada.

Next our Criminal Code does not differentiate between the man who holds the gun and fires it and the man who actively aids the other shoot the gun. They are both equally as guilty do the phenomena you discuss does not happen in Canada.

If you can find Canadian cases where this happened I would love to know them because I am not aware of any for the reasons I stated

What is more probable is that when two persons are engaged in a murder, one turns witness for the state and gets their sentence lowered to criminal negligence, manslaughter, an accomplice before and/or after the fact but its their sentence in terms of prison time that might be reduced as part of the plea bargain to testify not their actual being guilty.

This doesn't happen because our criminal sentencing structure does not provide any reason to do the above in favour of a defendant.
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Offline Omni

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Re: When Prosecutors Contradict Themselves
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 01:42:48 pm »
The article you quote deals with American criminal law. Each state in the US defines its own criminal laws and whether a death penalty is warranted for homicide.

The key to the article you quoted is this sentence:

"Under the legal principle of accomplice liability, a defendant can be convicted of murder without being the killer. But, if the prosecutor says that a defendant pulled the trigger, itís easier to ask a judge or a jury for a death sentence."

To start with we have no death sentence in Canada.

Next our Criminal Code does not differentiate between the man who holds the gun and fires it and the man who actively aids the other shoot the gun. They are both equally as guilty do the phenomena you discuss does not happen in Canada.

If you can find Canadian cases where this happened I would love to know them because I am not aware of any for the reasons I stated

What is more probable is that when two persons are engaged in a murder, one turns witness for the state and gets their sentence lowered to criminal negligence, manslaughter, an accomplice before and/or after the fact but its their sentence in terms of prison time that might be reduced as part of the plea bargain to testify not their actual being guilty.

This doesn't happen because our criminal sentencing structure does not provide any reason to do the above in favour of a defendant.

All you really needed to point out is that we don't have a death penalty in Canada. We do have equal guilt potential even for those who didn't pull the trigger.