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Censorship Your Rights Online

Publication Bans In A Borderless World 291

Posted by timothy
from the check-your-balances dept.
slantyyz writes "Wired has a story on a publication ban imposed by a Canadian court on the Canadian media in a well-publicized serial murder case. Now this ban doesn't apply to foreign media per se, but given the borderless nature of the Internet, it leads one to wonder about the efficacy of such a ban. Canadians clearly have access to the American media channels online. The last major publication ban occurred in the early nineties with another Canadian serial murder case involving Paul Bernardo. It was effective to the point that the Internet was still a young medium, but even then, there were a few newsgroups created that were dedicated to spreading rumours about the ongoing trial."
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Publication Bans In A Borderless World

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  • by Erris (531066) on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:22PM (#5121613) Homepage Journal
    ... there were a few newsgroups created that were dedicated to spreading rumours about the ongoing trial.

    News is what you get from disinerested third parties who are free to investigate and report news.

    Rumors is what you get when disinterested third parties are not alowed to investigate or report news.

    Rumors are not substitutes for news. They can never be trusted and are always a sign of tyranical control. When rumors are more reliable than news, no one can be sure of anything. That's why the US has a first amendment. It's degradation is a sign of enslavement.

  • by Garin (26873) on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:26PM (#5121636)
    Perhaps they're hoping that the media will just respect the wishes of the court, rather than trying to force the issue through technology?

    Note: there is no ban on the public -being- there, so this isn't a case of a closed trial. This isn't a ban on people talking about it -- just a ban on media publication. The rules are in place simply to give a fair trial.

    In Canada, a criminal suspect's right to a fair, untainted trial trumps the right of the media to descend upon the courtroom like a pack of rabid wolves. This is a murder trial, not public entertainment (no matter what the media would have you believe).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:26PM (#5121639)
    Yes, you troll, because media bans have no relevant reason whatsoever. These bans exist to prevent media taints on the case. The jurors go to their hotel rooms at night and turn on the TV. And if someone is editorializing the details that were released today, as well as what is to come tomorrow, their decision could be effected.

    Ban the jurors from TV and they'll talk to their families. Ban contact with families and you'll soon find yourself under the gun in a huge civil rights case.

    So, once again, in short words for you. The media ban protects the jurors. The media ban premits a more-fair outcome. Jeez.

    Oh, and I won't even touch that high-horse BS you spouted, I'll just pray it was sarcastic.
  • by yroJJory (559141) <{me} {at} {jory.org}> on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:27PM (#5121646) Homepage
    This is a very interesting case to me, as I recently saw Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," which blames, in not very few words, the sensationalist news media in the US for scaring Americans into needing guns and promoting violence.

    Moore even continues into Canada and discovers that many more guns are owned by Canadians, yet they have a dramatically lower gun homicide rate.

    What has this got to do with this article?

    Well, Moore shows how mundane the Canadian television news is and how it isn't splashing murders all across the television.

    Perhaps these types of media restrictions help in limiting the sensationalist effect.

    (Don't get me wrong: I am fully against censorship of all kinds. Yet, this is an interesting problem to consider.)
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:30PM (#5121676) Journal
    Ban the foreign press, make all spectators sign a legally binding gag order. Make sure these contracts are binding across borders.

    In a more perfect world, journalists would respect the wishes of the court and it would be a non issue.

    There's a reason why camera's aren't allowed in a Canadian court, and judges issue publication bans. It taints the outcome of the trial. Now of course journalists would have you believe that "freedom of the press" trumps the "right to a fair trial", but it's simply not true.

    The Bernardo case hits close to home, one of the girls bodies was dumped not more than about 10k from where I lived at the time. (I can't remember if it was Leslie Mohaffe or Kristen French) I remember the paranoia, the searching for the cream-colored Camaro, something I haven't experience again until just recently with the DC area sniper's spree ('cuz I live near DC now).

    Anyways, there really was enough media exposure on the trial. I followed it in the paper and on the news every day.

    Paul and his wife Karla Homolka videotaped their rape, torture and murder of the girls. These tapes were shown in court, and the judge ruled that the contents of the tapes were never to leave the courtroom. The reasons were obvious enough. The public is not served at all by details about how these girls were raped, humiliated and murdered.

    One of the American TV tabloids of the time (A Current Affair?) aired excruciating details in one of their little shock pieces. It frankly pissed a lot of people off. There was no reason to do it, except to once again exploit the victims for a few ratings points.

    Anyways, I digress.

    Keeping the press out of the courtroom is a good idea, IMO. The 3 ring circus' that plays out in big American trials is an absolute joke. I'm absolutely convinced OJ would have been convicted in a Canadian court.
  • Re:bottom line (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Scud_the_disposable_ (639695) <trvanden&telus,net> on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:33PM (#5121697)
    Why is that a good thing? There is a reason publication bans are put in effect in the first place: so that the defendant can have an unbiased judge/jury/trial. If the judge/jury's relatives, friends or whatever have access to the information presented in the trial, then that is a risk to the unbiased nature of the trial. How would you like it if you were accused of say, murder, (you are innocent) and all of the evidence is considered by the jury's family, and the pronounce you guilty, because their families think that you did it?

  • by Cerberus9 (466562) on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:36PM (#5121730)
    I have no idea why the general public and indeed, the media have such a blatant misunderstanding of judicial publication ban orders. The ban is a ban on media reporting while the trial is in progress and possibly until such time as the appeals are exhausted. The complete, entire purpose of the ban is to minimize contamination of the jury pool.

    Guess what happens when the trial is over?

    That's right - you're allowed to report on the trial! The transcripts are made public! Hell, CBC even made a TV movie out of the case. Since the media has lost it's chance to unfairly bias the public at this point, they rarely bother to report on it after the fact though.

    So take your sacrimonious attitude and apply it to those first generation Americans who are being held in US prisons without charges or trial just for registering the country of their birth.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:36PM (#5121734)
    The jury has not been chosen yet. It's common practice south of the border to ensure a jury is not tainted by allowing them to read about the trial in newspapers, watch coverage of the trial in the evening news, etc. This is the same thing but applied prior to a jury being chosen to help ensure a fair jury can be selected. It's a sticky situation - the right of the accused to a fair trial vs the right of the press to report to the public. In fact, now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure similar actions have been taken south of the border, though I could be mistaken on this thought. And is this ban effective? Yes. I haven't heard/seen/read anything of substance in the mainstream media and because I'm not too interested in the trial itself, I don't read about it on the Internet. If I was out in B.C. I'd make a pretty good candidate for a jury. Now, had there not been a publication ban I would have been tainted by my inability to avoid hearing about the trial while I read the morning paper, drive with the radio on, watch TV, etc.
  • Less is More (Score:2, Insightful)

    by riqnevala (624343) on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:40PM (#5121764) Journal
    "Shut up" often leads to [fierce] conversation.

    Try drilling a hole to a wall and write "don't peek thru..." above it. 8)

    Rebels.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:41PM (#5121776)
    Where is the thoguht control? The purpose of the publication ban is to stop evidence that may not be allowed during the trial to be made available to potential jurors.

    How clueless are you?
  • by squared99 (466315) on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:43PM (#5121789)
    This is typically done in Canada and ensures a fairer trial. I'm often surprised and sickened at the tabloid quality of the "unbiased" american (television) media. Everything turns into a circus. Well, sorry Canadians try to put the right to a fair trial above televison ratings.

    After the case is over, we(anyone) will have full access to the details of the case, and the unauthorized bios, tv specials, etc will come flying out with every little sordid detail.

    But for now let's let the case be tried without the play-by-play on every freaking media outlet, with their own special little catch phrase, bi-line and "Pig-Man Hooker Serial Killer" graphic.

    Yes, it will be hard(impossible) in a borderless internet media world to "ban" this. But at least the internet media is far less in your face than television, ie. it has to be sought out, it wont accidently be overheard by a juror flipping through tv channels. Makes sense to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:45PM (#5121807)
    Yes, America is land of the free...

    As a Canadian, I'm more than happy to face a ban on a Preliminary Hearing if it means a man has a right to a fair trial later.

    It is much better than the new American tradition of labeling its own citizens "enemy combatants" and locking them up in solitary confinement indefinitely, without charges, without a lawyer, without a single chance to defend themselves (e.g. Jose Padilla)

    What happened to the US? Home of the free my ass.

  • by stratjakt (596332) on Monday January 20, 2003 @06:48PM (#5121834) Journal
    But it's not censorship, IMO. All details of the trial ARE made available after the fact. The information isn't hidden, it's just withheld for the duration of the trial.
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:00PM (#5121908) Homepage
    Wow... "news" and "disinterested third parties" in the same sentence. Are you on crack? These "third parties" you speak of are the news agencies whose sole responsibility (especially in the US) is to generate ratings. No, not report the news; generate ratings.

    WRT this case, it is in the media's best interested to villify this guy to the best of their ability. Why? Because villians generate ratings. People tune in because they have a morbid curiosity about the "evil guy who killed all those women". They will do their best to present all the evidence which will present this man as guilty, especially if it can enhance the sensationalism of the case.

    So, the media is representing the case in a manner which biases it's viewers. Guess who those viewers are: potential jurors! As a result, the chance Pickton will receive a fair trial with an unbiased jury is compromised, meaning he is stripped of his rights.
  • by why-is-it (318134) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:00PM (#5121910) Homepage Journal
    are there any studies that can claim to show that pre-trial publicity can actually bias a jury one way or another?

    What sort of controlled experiment could you possibly conduct that would produce any relevant data? I suspect one could examine specific case studies, but that cannot establish a causal relationship or help in identifying any potential corelations.

    Personally, I believe that the accused person's right to a fair trial outweighs the right of the tabloids to report on the gory details. We certainly don't want Pickton's trial to become a media spectacle like the farce that was OJ Simpson's trial.Besides, the judge is only asking that any of the information presented at the pre-trial not be reported until the jury is picked and the trial begins.

    This is not the act of an authoritarian regime. There is no need to get the tinfoil hats out.
  • by knobmaker (523595) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:18PM (#5122048) Homepage Journal
    I can only be thankful that I live in the land of Freedom to the south. Such behavior would even make people like John Ashcroft blush.

    In my opinion, the situation here in the "land of Freedom" is worse. Banning pre-trial publicity is one thing. Preventing a defendant from using his chosen defense is another and far worse thing.

    A sad example is the case of the late author Peter McWilliams, who was charged with conspiracy to grow marijuana. He was charged under federal statutes, because the state of California had legalized the growing of marijuana for medical purposes. McWilliams was therefore under the impression that he would be permitted to do so. His publishing company gave an advance to another medical marijuana activist, for the purpose of writing a book on the subject of medical marijuana. The activist rented a big house and filled it with different strains of marijuana, ostensibly to experiment with different strains and their efficacy for different conditions. Though McWilliams himself did not grow any pot, he was arrested and indicted for conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance, because of the advance.

    Now the story becomes pretty ugly. The prosecutors petitioned the court to prohibit McWilliams from mentioning anything about medical uses of marijuana, and the judge granted the motion. This effectively prevented McWilliams from making any defense at all. Since he was a medical marijuana user himself (he had AIDS and cancer) the injustice of this seems even more unAmerican.

    Because he was prevented from offering the only defense he had, he was obliged to accept a plea bargain, and he was hoping to get house arrest. Though at the time of his indictment, he was in fairly good shape, with a low viral load and his cancer in remission, he was denied the use of marijuana as a condition of his bail (he was frequently tested). The medication that had kept him alive caused severe nausea, which he had treated by smoking pot. He was able to make bail (being such a dangerous criminal) only because his mother and other family put up their houses to guarantee his adherence to the terms of his bail. He was told that his mother would lose her house if he were to be caught smoking pot, so he abstained. His condition rapidly deteriorated, and he died before he received his sentence. Readers of this forum might find McWilliams' work of interest because he adhered to the free information ethic-- making his books available online for free. My favorite book of his is Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do [mcwilliams.com].

    History seems to be repeating itself. Long-time drug policy activist Ed Rosenthal has been indicted on similar charges and like McWilliams, has been informed that he will also not be allowed to mention medical marijuana in his defense.

    Contrast this ferocious adherence to the official line here in America with a similar situation in Canada. There a judge ruled that the blanket prohibition of marijuana is illegal because it made no provision for those who felt they had a medical need for the drug.

    Much of this dismal contrast in the fairness of the two country's judicial proceeding derives from America's size. It has become too big for democracy; the government's power is unchallengeable. In Canada, it's still possible for the people to influence their government.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:22PM (#5122105)
    As mentioned in the story, the judge in the Paul Bernardo/Karla Homolka murder trial imposed a similar ban in Canada on publication of details of the crimes under the pretense that the accused could receive a fair trial. Back then, this was 1993, I was working the IT department at the Regina Public Library in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and we had just become one of the first non-university sites in Saskatchewan to be connected to the internet. To satisfy my own curiosity I used the access I had (mainly in the form of newsgroups and FTP sites at the time) to find out all I could on the trial. After showing the IT manager what I could find, he brought it to the attention of the chief librarian. Since libraries have always been about intellectual freedom and freedom of information, the chief librarian asked me to print out all I could find and made the information available to anyone who asked (at the time our net access was through a 14.4 dialup so shared public access wasn't available then). The RCMP were some of the first people to ask to see what I had found. The chief librarian and I got interviewed on national CBC radio for breaking the publication ban and the library agreed to take full responsibilty in the event of prosecution (none ever happened).

    The only reference I can find about it is in this paper The Libraries, The Internet, and the University [uwaterloo.ca], the chief librarian is quoted:

    The public library in Regina, Saskatchewan actually made available
    a "reference kit" containing copies of the Washington Post and
    other articles. Ken Jensen, head of the Regina Public Library, told me,
    "Removing access to material is not what a library should be all about.
    If we're going to err, it's our job to err on the side of intellectual
    freedom."


    I learned a few things back then. I learned that the internet was a new tool to help keep information free and available. With the net being so much more pervasive than it was 10 years ago, the current publication ban is not going to accomplish much. Even more importantly, I learned that the publication ban created misinformation. The rumours and even some of the "information" I found turned out to be completely incorrect when compared with the offical version that was made available after the trial concluded. The crimes were ghastly and horrible but the details of the crimes floating around during the publication ban were even sicker and probably more damaging than the truth was. I also learned how important a library has always been. Slashdot talks a lot about your rights online and intellectual freedom, but libraries have been there for millenia trying to provide and protect your right to information. I was proud to have worked there.

  • by sholden (12227) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:24PM (#5122122) Homepage
    It is not "about a British Columbian pig farmer who murdered...".

    It is about a British Columbian pig farmer who *IS ACCUSED* of murdering...

    There's a big difference between the two statements, the article you linked used the correct one, you ignored the assumption of innocence, which is probably the most important concept in a fair justice system.
  • by CODiNE (27417) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:28PM (#5122186) Homepage
    I think the real reason is not so much to avoid the jury being "tainted" by rumors, but evidence that is deemed inadmissible to the court. For example in the O.J. Simpson trial the general public knew a lot of things that the jury did not, and afterwards after being told what was not shown in court several of them were shocked and said they would not have felt the way they did had they known more.

    The legal system is based on a sort of social Darwinism that basically preaches blindly following the law will eventually lead to better laws through reform. So if then certain evidence was not shown to a jury for legal reasons which allowed a guilty person to run free, then the theory holds that a few extra deaths is in the long run worth it for the refinement it indirectly brings to the legal system.

    Love it or hate it that's the way it is. Personally I hate it.
  • Re:In Israel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThousandStars (556222) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:29PM (#5122209) Homepage
    The parent post makes a good point. In a world with fewer borders, that information will be carried with greater ease. But that also means that the entity with the most resources can take a path to suppress that information, and who better to do so than the government. While information Israel wants to suppress can make it on the web, Israel can in turn attack that information.

    That isn't saying it's right, but before everyone starts crowing about how wonderful free information is, remember that governments will adapt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:41PM (#5122334)
    It fills the same need that a Grand Jury does in the U.S. The difference is that relimary hearings are generally open to the public in Canada and grand juries in the U.S. are, by law, strictly secret.

    It is not unusual for defense counsel to request a publication ban during pre-trial. Prior to a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision, it had about an even chance of suceeding, and are much more difficult to obtain now. In some cases, the Crown requests a publication ban to protect sources or for their own reasons. Rarely, that I have heard, both Crown and defense request a publication ban. Note, that unlike a grand jury, the publication ban will expire and all that was presented becomes public record.

    Having said all that, I think I prefer the grand jury system in the U.S. It protects the accused, insulates potential Jurors from a certain amount of manipulation and generally provides for a fair trial for an accused. Once idicted, then the full and public accounting should come into play.

    If Crown or defense attornies are going to battle over publication in the first place, why not make it secret and the trial public? If there is enough evidence to proceed to trial, then a full accounting will occur there.

  • by Jboy_24 (88864) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:53PM (#5122462) Homepage
    Richard Jewell brought it all on himself by committing a very suspicious crime in regards to the bombing incident: he stole evidence from the crime scene and hid it in his house. He willingly chose to commit criminal activity in regards to the case; no wonder he opened himself up to worse suspicion.

    Excuse me, this is the first I've ever heard about this. What did he steal then? How did the stealing of evidence relate to him being the bomber? The press latched onto Jewell because the police leaked he was a suspect. Jewell has won almost every lawsuit he has filed against the media. But think of how a mere $500k judgement against NBC compares to the hundreds of millions up for game in the TV News business.

    Really, it is so it shouldn't be. There is nothing the government should do that it should keep hidden from us. If you don't like it, don't read it. If the judiciary does not like what a newspaper prints, it does not have to buy it.


    Here you raise a straw man, this isn't something the government is doing on its own, its doing something to someone. Its not the governments rights that are being protected by a publication ban it is that person's. Its not your rights that are being violated, its you being inconvienced to hear the details later.

    In a republic, the rights of the individual outweigh the rights of the public. That is why YOUR tax returns are secret and why people fight for privacy in their dealings with the government. The investigation of a crime is not a public event until the trial!

    Even then, in many cases regarding minors, the happenings at trial are kept secret to protect those accused.

    There is a fine line between the protection you as a citizen get by your trial being public and from the harm that is caused by it. If the press wasn't so keen to publish the acusations and not the results of trial, AND if the public wasn't soo facinated by gossip, then there wouldn't need to be any publication bans. But, the public is fancinated, the media feeds it and feeds from it, but the publics WANT does not make it a Public RIGHT.

    What Canada is doing is simply favouring the rights of the individual over the WANTS of the public. The public is gaining nothing in learning the juicy tidbits now rather then later, but to the person who's being acused that time frame is vital.
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:55PM (#5122481) Homepage
    No trial is fair when any potential jurors have been biased by the media presenting an filtered view of the case. Or are you one of those wholly dellusioned people who believes that the media will report the facts of this case in a clear, unbiased manner?

    The fact is, the public WILL find out what the government is doing: after the jury has been selected and the case can commence. After all, this media blackout isn't permanent. Or did you not know that either?

    As for the media being controlled and censored, keep in mind that the US media does a pretty fair job of sensoring itself, ignoring what the government does or doesn't do. As a result, referring to the US media as less censored than Canadian media is incredibly naive on your part.
  • by DDX_2002 (592881) on Monday January 20, 2003 @07:59PM (#5122517) Journal
    Ban the foreign press, make all spectators sign a legally binding gag order. Make sure these contracts are binding across borders.
    Contract is unnecessary, as they're already committing a criminal offense if they break the ban. Getting something in writing just makes it a lot easier to prosecute.

    You should read the reported comments of the judge and lawyers in this case - they're *not* happy, and mentioned some US journalists by name in the warning from the bench. Those people are walking on very thin ice. Don't forget that this is a preliminary inquiry - the comparable procedure in the US is the Grand Jury... which is behind closed doors and not open to the public, and if you publish anything about grand jury evidence or deliberation, you're going to jail for a long time. In Canada, our system is actually more open. The public can attend and see that justice is being done - it removes the star chamber feel of grand jury deliberations, because the general public can attend and make sure things are legit - but this doesn't mean that you wouldn't taint the jury pool if salacious details were widely reported. Don't forget, this isn't a full trial right now - the prosecution has a laughably low burden to have this set down for trial, and will show just enough evidence to get there. The defence may not even try to fight back - why give anything away? The prelim is really a tool for the defense to get a free go round, seeing the prosecution's case and crossexamining their witnesses. The defendant doesn't really get to present a defense or explain - if there's any evidence at all, he'll be bound over for trial. As a result, any reporting would present a very skewed picture of the legal landscape facing the defendant. The system remains in place because the defense bar fights tooth and nail to keep it, and because occasionally charges *are* dismissed, and that makes the cost of the prelim in the other cases worth it by saving the cost, embarassment and waste of time of trying an obviously innocent person.

  • by RobinH (124750) on Monday January 20, 2003 @08:26PM (#5122769) Homepage
    Reporters Without Borders worldwide press freedom index [www.rsf.fr]

    Does anyone else notice that the scores seem to correlate with distance from the north pole? I've also noticed that the UN "best countries to live in" list often shows the same tendency.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2003 @09:03PM (#5123029)
    An increased volume of data on the Pickton Crime or any other crime can hardly be considered freedom of information, given the typically tabloid nature of most media outlets.

    Thoughtful commentary is rare, sensationalist reporting is rampant. Remember the 5 guys who MAY have entered the states from CANADA.... (did they find them? did they exist? did they come from Canada?)

    Typically the media is no longer a revered institution fighting for truth and goodness, revealing evil and badness, so we can improve life etc... It seems to be all about convincing the listener that every juicy tidbit is life threatening.

    I for one think that a nation has the right to order its affairs. If France doesn't allow Nazi propaganda, it isn't the responsibility of the "Land of the free and Home of the brave" to circumvent their law in the name of freedom. If Canada wants a publication ban in order to (as far as possible) ensure that a criminal gets a fair trial, and the families aren't badgered excessively by foreign media, I think the media at the very least owe that respect to the people of that country who choose to live with those laws.

    So it seems bizarre for the citizens of a foreign nation (U.S.) to take it upon themselves in the name of freedom (try to forget why America needed the civil rights movement) to purposely circumvent the laws of Canada which are established in order to provide the kind of fairness that the law must provide to everyone who is accused of crime.

    Go ahead flame away.
  • Re:In Israel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DroppedPacket (621464) on Monday January 20, 2003 @09:34PM (#5123265)
    Find out my family was dead from the news instead of from a government flunky wouldn't change my degree of grief

    I think you are wrong. Let me throw a scenaria at you:

    Your child (say 14 years old) was on an airplane that crashed. The media comes to tell you. There isn't just one person, there are 50, with big lights, microphones, and 10 reporters yelling questions at you as soon as you open the door. When you finally understand that your child is dead, they start badering you with questions like "How does it feel to lose your child?", "Who do you think is to blame?", "Are you going to sue the airline?".

    ...AND YOU CAN'T MAKE THEM GO AWAY! Or would you prefer for one or two people to come to tell you, who will then leave you to your grief?

    Trust me, I know which one is better.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:10AM (#5124806) Homepage
    So if then certain evidence was not shown to a jury for legal reasons which allowed a guilty person to run free, then the theory holds that a few extra deaths is in the long run worth it for the refinement it indirectly brings to the legal system.

    Love it or hate it that's the way it is. Personally I hate it.


    A typical reason for excluding evidence is if the police obtained it illegally. Excluding the evidence may let a criminal go free, but admiting the evidence gives the police (and the rest of the government) an incentive to break the law and violate our rights.

    The legal system... preaches blindly following the law

    It is a willfull and rational choice. We are often forced to choose "the lesser of two evils". Letting a criminal person go free is FAR less dangerous than rewarding the government for becoming criminal.

    -

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