In 2016, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court ruling in Miranda v. Arizona and the resulting right to remain silent. How has the Miranda verdict served to shape our justice system over the last fifty years? Some would say that the decision interferes with the ability of the police to obtain confessions, however, others believe that high-pressure police interrogations have led to many false confessions. Over the last half-century, studies have shown that the Miranda warning has done no damage to law enforcement, and is in full accordance with the United States Bill of Rights and Constitution. In this article, the case of Miranda v. Arizona will be examined, along with the cultural and legal effects on our current society. The Crime On March 3, 1963, while returning home from her late night job at a theater in Phoenix, AZ, 18-year old Lois Ann Jameson was attacked. Her assailant forced her into a car while threatening her with a knife, drove to the Arizona desert, sexually assaulted her, took her money, and dropped her off a few blocks from her home. Later, she described her attacker and his vehicle to detectives. The following week, Jameson’s bother saw the car believed to have been used in the attack, and recorded the license plate number. The aged green car in the driveway of Twila Hoffman’s house was further investigated and found to be a match from Jameson’s description of the crime. Ernesto Miranda shared this home with Hoffman, his common-law wife. Ernesto Arturo Miranda, 22, was then accused and arrested by Officer Carrol Cooley for the kidnapping and rape of Lois Ann Jameson. Who Was Mr. Miranda? Ernesto Arturo Miranda, (March 9, 1941- [...]
The Gadsden flag was originally designed in 1775 by American general and statesman Christopher Gadsden (1724–1805), and used during the American Revolution. Original Gadsden Flag The origin of the snake theme can be traced back to Benjamin Franklin when-- in 1751-- he made the first reference to the timber rattlesnake in a satirical commentary published in his Pennsylvania Gazette. Benjamin Franklin's "Join or Die" Flag The Gadsden flag has been used over the years for various purposes. It's mostly been used as a statement of personal freedom, American pride, libertarian values, and freedom. The Best Variations of the Gadsden Flag
Nika Elise Larsen, a forensic scientist and crime scene investigator for Oregon State Police Crime Lab, faced a federal court on Aug. 15, 2016. Larsen pled guilty to tampering with evidence and theft of Schedule II type drugs through direct access to evidence in lockers while working out of Bend and Pendleton Oregon Crime Labs since 2008. Sentencing will commence on Dec. 12, 2016. The prosecution and the defense are recommending a three-year prison sentence. Due to Larsen’s tampering, around 1,500 cases are being reviewed by John Hummel, District Attorney for Deschutes County, Oregon, and by several Deputy District Attorneys. Reportedly, Larsen’s mishandling and tampering of evidence occurred with her own cases and those which she might have accessed in her eight years of employment at OSP. This case is one of several which have cropped up in the last eleven years through mismanagement and lack of oversight at OSP Crime Labs. Jeff Dovci allegedly overstated evidence in a 2005 criminal trial before he retired from the Central Point Oregon Crime Lab in 2013. He is now a private forensic consultant. OSP did an internal investigation and John Hummel found that Dovci had, “overstated scientific findings and minimized things that could have hurt the state’s case.” After reviewing the two cases that came into question, Hummel found that the convictions in question still stood on solid ground. A previous OSP forensic scientist, Kristopher Kyes, missed drugs and other substances in urine he tested at the Clackamas Oregon Crime Lab, which led to a review of 120 cases, 10 of which had potential discrepancies. This led investigators to reevaluate those 10 cases. The troubling trend of misconduct continues with OSP evidence technician, John D. Parrish, who was indicted on June [...]
Two computer programmers from Seattle-- Eric Rachner and Phil Mocek (blog)-- have used Washington's Public Records Act and their analytic skills to uncover instances and patterns of officer misconduct at the Seattle Police Department, all while the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) systematically shielded dirty cops from reprimands. Read more at The Stranger and the Sky Valley Chronicle.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Patrol Sergeant Charlie Eipper of the Wichita Falls Police Department believes that God, Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures support his use of a rifle and sniper scope to kill anyone he finds threatening, and he's written a book called "Jesus Christ on Killing." Eipper is quoted as saying, “When Jesus comes back, he will be the man of war. When he comes back, there will be a whole lot of killing going on. Scripture says that (Jesus) is going to be the one doing it. Our Savior will be going to battle. Finally, Israel will see their national salvation occurring.”
A report released February 2014 by the National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, shows that there were a record number of exoneration nationwide. The number of reported exonerations of people who were wrongfully convicted of a crime they did not commit-- and who served prison time-- rose to 87 in 2013. The previous record was 83 in 2009. Samuel Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, notes that while the number may seem small, "The great majority of people who are innocently convicted are never exonerated because they are never discovered." More on the report can be read at Here & Now.