Murder case abandoned after prosecutors' racist emails exposed

Originally published at:


The American experiment in local/decentralised policing has gone on too long, and has completely failed.

There have to be national minimum standards. There has to be a national oversight & internal investigations body. There has to be change.

Because at the moment American justice is too open to perversion by local matters of politics and prejudice.


Shouldn’t the headline read “Murder conviction overturned…”? I went in thinking this was a new case.


At the time police said they did not have the equipment necessary to record interrogation

in 2003 ?


Absolutely. Make a new division of the FBI, perhaps. And treat any claim that body cameras “malfunctioned” or that there was no way to record the interrogation as immediately suspect. As of right now, I trust the word of an American cop about as much as I trust the word of a Trump.


“This may be the first case in the U.S. where a murder conviction has been thrown out because of racism on the part of prosecutors,” said John Barter, attorney for Frances Choy.

I’m sure if you took the time to go back over past convictions of POC in the USA, you’d probably find a lot more that needed fixing; even in the past year or so.


Another idea: Get rid of qualified immunity for cops, and prosecutorial immunity from district attorneys.


“Half her life in jail.” is a little misleading. It was actually about 8 years, not 17 as she didn’t get imprisoned until the conviction. However, I am not discounting that half her life was disrupted/irreparably damaged.


I’d agree with this more if there was evidence that the FBI or DEA or ICE or any other federal law enforcement agency was any more free of this kind of thing.


I live in Plymouth county, and got fucking sick to my stomach. One of the prosecutors who sent those emails was a guy I voted for last election.

In that article they talk about how Bradley was fired from the Plymouth county DA’s office a year after this conviction, and neither of them really give a straight answer why. I wonder how much being a racist POS had to do with it (depressingly realistically: probably very little).


Well, it’s 2020 and they still can’t get body cameras to even work.


The problem (among many) is that cop quality is measured on arrest / charge counts and prosecutor quality is measured on conviction counts. There’s zero incentive for the State to pursue the truth – just the identified metrics.

“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”


They can’t find their ass with both hands.

Yet we gave them tracked armored vehicles through the 1033 Program.


It’s also worth noting that the balance provided, at least in principle, by an ‘adversarial’ justice system is mostly missing as well.

There’s simply no analog on the defense side to the DA or prosecutor-as-political-career-advancement effect; nobody is patting the techs at the crime lab on the back for coming back with exonerating results; there’s no entity where some sort of metacop is being praised for how efficiently he can bring in dirty cops; and neither a dedicated role nor much praise for people who review trials, plea bargains, etc. for procedural irregularities.

This isn’t to say that “Oh, if we were only using the true adversarial justice system it’d all be fine”(when the argument is that it’s failing because everyone implements it wrong that’s often a bad sign for political concepts); but it is true that we have a nominally adversarial justice system that, across broad swaths, has an adversary but either doesn’t and never had an opposing force for them, or what was supposed to be an opposing force has succumbed to regulatory capture.


Cops pressuring a teenage girl that just lost both parents in a horrible way to admit “having a role in the fire”. That could mean anything, she probably was just feeling irrationally guilty and was extremely susceptible to those cop’s suggestions.

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