Wednesday, September 3, 2014

30+ Years Instead of Execution

So, innocent men only had about two fifths of their lives stolen; give or take, instead of all of them, well alright.  Thank Odin for small favors.

I'm not sure abour the precise racial angle of this case; the victim, rest In Peace, was also black.  Whatever else there was clearly professional pressure on the local police and prosecutor to win as well as social pressure to do something;  to ritually prove that the community was anti-rape and murder by punishing someone.

The wrongly imprisoned men, Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, claim to have confessed to the crime under duress, and as science has proved them to be innocent of the crime that would seem to quite clearly be the case.  It would of course be absurd to claim that all confessions are false.  Obviously guilty people confessing to crimes they clearly did do indeed greatly outnumber such railroading jobs.  Still I'm bothered as to why any strenuous effort is put into gaining a confession at all, even if no untoward methods are used and even (especially rather) the accused is clearly guilty. 

I am disturbed by the superstitious thrall humanity continues to hold over the interrogation and the act of confessing.  It is known, by the police themselves more than anyone; that the human word is the least reliable form of 'evidence' there is and that deliberate lying to save one's own ass is only a small part of the reason why. The truth is discerned by the gathering of physical evidence that is lifeless, emotionless, biasless , devoid of any will towards self-protection or self-aggrandizement.

There has long been both a strong correlation and strong emotional tendency to associate confession with torture and for good reason.  Even if an interrogation is performed out of good motives, without malice or abuse, there is still the superstitious belief the Truth can be willed into being by simply being anti-evil enough to make the sinner surrender.  It's an assertion of power and control which prevents no crime and adds to the material safety of no one; and it is high past time that we stop viewing 'interrogation skills' as necessary parts of the police tool chest.  

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