A confession at any cost
In the United States, law enforcement officers are infamously known for violating average citizen’s constitutional rights in order to get a confession. Instead of being innocent ‘til proven guilty, the roles are actually swapped. The minute you are booked for an alleged crime you may have committed, your chances of walking away are slim. But is this actually feasible? Is the law enforcement that is supposedly there to protect us, in reality harming us?
Imagine you are at home watching the local news. You see the police searching for a robber that is your doppelganger. Your neighbor, John, whose window was broken by your son’s baseball sees this same report, decides to call the police to report that the suspect is his neighbor and is currently home. The police come, and arrest you on reasonable suspicion. The commissioner of the task force has been hassling the department for months to catch this guy, and if they can’t get the confession, they are off the case.
Terrified of your predicament, worried about your family, and no one answering any of your questions, you start feeling a panic attack come on. As you are about to go insane for the never ending silence, finally the detective comes in to read you your charges. The detective states that you have been charged with numerous robberies across the county and are looking at a very long, lonely sentence in solitary confinement. Between the amount of key witnesses, and the video surveillance, they have everything they need to put you away. But, the detective states that he can probably get you a lesser sentence if you confess, and tell your side of the story. Maybe they don’t have all the facts, it never hurts to try.
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...r anything that is why probable cause exists. It is set to make sure that there is reason for a suspect to be brought in. There are two axioms that hold a very dark truth. The first being, angels do not get their wings cut off for no reason. Meaning if you are brought in for questioning for a crime, whether you are guilty of that particular crime does not matter, for chances are you are guilty of something else. Our victim may have not committed the robberies, but he is guilty of something else, whatever that may be. The second axiom is “you must kill one to save one thousand”. Putting away one person for a crime they did not commit, is a small price to pay for the benefit of arresting the people that have committed a crime. The line between guilty and innocent is just as blurred as the line of upholding justice and breaking it. Question is, where does the line blur?
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