Tuesday, February 05, 2013

“Why Police Lie Under Oath”

Check out the Sentencing and Policy blog’s February 3rd post entitled "Why Police Lie Under Oath" and deeper challenges involving criminal justice metrics. Professor Berman uses The New York Times opinion piece by that title to comment on "get tough" metrics for law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

The opinion piece collects statements such as this:
Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.
- from an article written by Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Both the blog and the opinion piece discuss perjury in the context of reaching quotas—so tempting to lie when the jury or judge will more likely believe the police officer than the defendant and when lying helps get those numbers.


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