I Solemnly Swear...

Courtrooms: places with a lot of deception, despite all the oaths made to tell the truth. 
(another adulty-topic, but one you need to know about, for honest elections and impartial justice are the basis of a free society).

And the big players in courtrooms often try to block so many truths, which is preventing the whole truth... 

We know that genuinely guilty people usually lie. We know that defense lawyers sometimes accuse other people of the crime, 
to try to free their clients. How far is this from lying and bringing false testimony against the innocent?
In my opinion, the job of the defense lawyer is not to free the guilty, for that would be a perversion of justice. 
The job of a defense lawyer is to make sure the process of justice (investigation, arrest, prosecution, and sentencing)
is done fairly and that the jury sees the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...

which can include mitigating circumstances that the victims, their families, or the prosecutors don’t care about. 
'Self-defense' is a phrase that a lot of relatives don't want to hear.

And we know that crime scene investigators sometimes plant false evidence. 
In Cass County, Nebraska, an on-loan Crime Scene Investigator from Douglas County, Nebraska, was found guilty of planting evidence. Investigator David Kofoed, helped Cass County investigate a murder of a Cass County farm couple in 2006. 
He was later convicted of planting evidence that accused and imprisoned two local men. 

See: https://www.law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/macarthur/projects/wrongful/livers.html

As it turns out, a piece of jewelry left at the crime scene led to the conviction of a teen-couple from Wisconsin for the double-murder. The investigator was willing to send two innocent men to prison.
For what reason? For the accolades of solving a crime? Wow.  

We know that interrogating officers are legally allowed to lie, and thus, they themselves operate under falsehoods: 

1) They believe that no innocent man will confess to a crime. 
2) They believe that lying can serve a higher good. 

There is a defining difference between successful street cops and successful crime investigators. 
A patrol officer can be successful just tending his beat. For many street cops, getting home alive at the end of the shift is a victory. 
On the other hand, every day without apprehension of a law-breaker, gives detectives a feeling of failure. 
Confessions are quick successes.  If I ever serve on a jury where a confession has been rescinded, or the accused is very young or mentally-slow in some way, I will surely look over everything, discounting the confession, but relying on the other evidence.

Now what about sting operations using falsehoods to catch people that endanger others? Is it possible to have a sting operation without lying? Is that type of lying then justified? That's a tough one, given the crimes, murders and child abuse that sting operations can prevent. Perhaps sting operations, like house searches, should require a judge-approved warrant.

And friend and relatives of suspects lie. How many suspects’ mamas have said, “He’s not here.” 
yet the police catch him sneaking out the back door? 
More mothers should be charged for lying to the police. 
Mothers have no right or obligation to lie about  sons. Mothers are not exempt from God’s rules about lying. 
Mothers should not lie to their children, nor should they lie for them. 

As a crime show buff, I am amazed at how much evidence is withheld from trials, by the design of a prosecuting attorney or by a judge at the urging of a defense lawyer, or by a judge's own sentiments. I really wonder if there is any kind of nation-wide procedure on what kind of evidence is allowed or disallowed to be introduced in the courtroom. 

Another 'bother-y' thing I've is is the way polygraph questioners sometimes act as angry, hard-core accusers. While polygraphs are not of a courtroom display, they are still part of our judicial system. I watched a ploygraph interview on Dateline. May 14, 2022.
A man named Lars is being 'tested'. The polygraph questioner was completely out of bounds for how someone should be spoken to, in my opinion.

'Jailhouse snitches' are another problem. There are inmates who will lie about suspects to get their own sentences reduced, or for in-house favors. This is a problem. Perhaps if these people were given polygraph tests....and if juries were informed on any benefits they would receive. ???

Juries. To refuse to vote for guilt or innocence as it is presented, with a clear conscience, is to lie. 
And I am concerned on what basis, during jury-seletion, a potential jurist can be dismissed, because that jurist might have the discernment to see the truth of the evidence presented or evidence that doesn't exist. 
Study 'peremptory challenges' to see how jury selection can be manipulated.

(If potential jurors, randomly drawn from voter registration records, can be barred from jury duty, shouldn't excluded jurors lose their right to vote? If they're not capable of being a good juror, are they capable of being a good voter?)

The whole truth. So many questions aimed toward a witness are worded so that they can only answer with a 'yes' or 'no', 
and cannot tell the whole truth. It is a travesty of justice when the whole truth cannot be told, because it doesn't fit a pre-planned script oral courtroom strategy. 

Perhaps a witness in this situation should say "I cannot answer that question in those terms because it would violate my vow to the Court and the people of (State) to 'tell the whole truth.'"

And Governors have a scarcely-used power in the judicial system. That is the power to pardon. 
If I were a State governor, I would have an advisory committee, staffed by one  Public Defender per county and one member of each county’s DA office. Their task would be to review convictions for false confessions and obviously-violated defendant rights. 
Where Constitutional violations are blatant, and an appeal has been filed, I would make it publicly known that even with indisputably obvious guilt, a defendant with obviously-violated constitutional rights has my attention, and if a retrial is not granted, I will have to choose… which of the two injustices has done greater harm; the first crime of victimization, or the second crime of judicial injustice.  
And the sovereignty of the US Constitution must sometimes take priority over individual cases, 
for it is the US Constitution that protects all of us as individuals.

And, judges are not little gods, and while we have many good judges, a few are incompetent, and several are crooked. 
I don't understand why a 'precedent' is more important to some than is the US Constitution. Shouldn't judges and lawyers each understand the US Constitution well enough to interpret a case directly from this founding  document?

Perhaps the most honest people in the judicial system are the Court Clerks and Court Reporters.  

It is a problem when prosecuters, during trial, introduce the option of guilt on lesser charges when things aren't going well for them? This seems completey wrong. Stick with what you started with, or go home empty-handed. 

And I am completely disappointed with the way the 'free press' reports crime, or doesn't report crime, 
according to how the crime fits the script they are trying to write for society to see. 
Sometimes people lie by what they don't tell. 
This is why 'the whole truth' is included in court-oaths.

If someone asked me, "Should guilty people confess if they have done something wrong?" I would say,

Absolutely, to the appropriate charges, in an appropriate manner. 
When a person is arrested for a home invasion, for example, there may be 6 or 8 charges for one crime-event. 
This is a bullying technique meant to produce confessions to the central crime.
He should have a defense lawyer help him thread the needle of just what he should plead guilty to, or not. 
If this is done properly, it is less like that a trial will even occur.

An accused person, a even those who have broke some laws, have the moral right, even the moral obligation to plead not-guilty to inappropriate charges.

Another point: Defendents, before they might plead guilty, need to dicuss the charges with their lawyer. 
But at their arraignment, must either plead guilty or not guilty, and must do so in one lump sum to all the charges. 
So with the current method, A guilty defendent has to lie and plead 'not guilty' without in-depth counsel of the charges against him.

I would prefer the judge ask, " Are you prepared to plead guilty to any of these charges at this time? 
If not, we will bring these charges to trial." 

Then the defendant can say, " I do not wish to plead guilty to any of these charges." 
Then the charges can be parsed and negotiated, etc.

Eric J. Rose 
photo: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2019/03/21/algorithms-and-sentencing-what-does-due-process-require/
(c)2021, All Rights Reserved
Copyright ©2021 Middle Grade Mysteries, All Rights Reserved.