12 Page Paper On Evidence And Liability Relating. Written For Crju 4400 Class

3251 words - 14 pages

David HopperCRJU 4400Mr. Lansing04/04/01Evidence LiabilityEvidence: Liability Faced When Detected, Gathered, or Presented ImproperlyOn December 25, 1996, JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her home. JonBenet Ramsey, a toddler model, had become famous by the press due to her simple beauty. JonBenet began receiving recognition nationwide and the terrifying news on Christmas shocked everyone. "Who could have committed such a crime?" is still a question that is asked today. Despite the numerous suspects that the Boulder police of Colorado mentioned, a great deal of evidence is directed to one person, Patsy Ramsey. One BIG reason no arrests were made were mistakes committed by the ...view middle of the document...

Nothing was done to protect the forensic evidence. Also, the police from Boulder Colorado had little experience with murders and were not very knowledgeable in conducting this type of crime (Bellamy 2004).If the police would have handled this case properly, they would have demanded that the house be immediately searched right after the incident. They would have had the pen used to write the note be further investigated, something that was not done by police officials. The limitations would be the Ramsey's privacy. The police should not have openly displayed or told anyone outside the investigation about the evidence they had gathered, or any opinions concerning the case that was not required to do so. This is a mistake one believes that many of the officials and lawyers did (Bellamy 2004). These are just examples of what went wrong and why liability was then placed on the police for bungling the investigation.This was just an introductory reason using a recent case as to why it is important to identify, gather, and process all evidence correctly as to avoid the liability of losing a case or having a mistrial and repercussions handed to the officers. Evidence is defined by Kaci as "Any species of proof, or probative matter, legally presented at the trail of an issue, by the act of the parties and through the medium of witnesses, records, documents, exhibits, concrete objects, etc., for the purpose of inducing belief in the minds of the court or jury as to their contention. (Kaci 2000, 2)".There are rules established by the courts as to how the evidence must be obtained to be admissible into the courts. The USSC case for this would be Mapp v Ohio in 1961, as it says information and physical objects obtained through violations of the subjects constitutional rights will 'usually' not be allowed in court (Kaci 2000, 4). This is where police are given the burden of legally obtaining evidence and if they don't they are liable for putting the subject back on the streets to strike again.When gathering evidence to be used in trial, police almost exclusively deal with the 4th amendment to the US Constitution. It states;"The Right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon the probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (Kaci 2000 221)."This 'right' stems from the old English principle, like most laws today, of "a man's home is his castle." Even the King of England was not allowed to enter a man's home if he were not welcome in pre-colonial England. That changed when the states were colonized and the 'police' known as soldiers used 'general warrants' to enter and search anything they wanted to without cause and without reason (Ferdico 1999, 120). The outrage of this was evident as the 4th amendment shows, and verified later...

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