One of the most fundamental rights in a western democracy, in a criminal case, is the idea of “Innocence until PROVEN guilty”. The label of “guilty” should only be applied once unfettered due process has been afforded the accused, and the EVIDENCE is incontrovertible. The burden of proof is always on the prosecution to prove the defendant guilty rather than the defendant having to prove his innocence. It comes from the old english saying “he who alleges must prove”.
The thinking behind all this arose from the thought that preferably a few guilty were let free rather than any innocent incarcerated.
The function of law enforcement (aka police) is to do exactly that – enforce the law. They catch the law breakers, gather all the evidence, and hand the evidence to the lawyers so they can spar together in front of a judge. The police have zero, nil, nada, naught, zip involvement in whether the accused is innocent or guilty. That is once again, as previously indicated, the function of the judiciary!
So, when police decide to take on the role of judge and jury by withholding or deliberately losing evidence which could acquit or free the innocent , they should face the full wrath of the law themselves rather than just been given a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again. How about maybe withholding any due process to these corrupt cops and imprison them based simply on the fact that they obstructed justice!
When young mens careers and lives are so adversely impacted by this disgraceful, shameless, scandalous, repugnant behaviour, the full force of the law should be thrown at these individuals or teams of individuals. There can be NO EXCUSES for deliberately trying to convict innocent people. It is not just the fact of their liberty being removed, but the fact that their entire lives are ruined forever. Once someone has been tried and convicted in the media, which seems to happen with every accusation of this type, there is no going back when the individuals are cleared of wrongful conviction. The press seems to make a lot more song and dance about the alleged crime than the wrongful conviction. This is unconscionable.
Please save the bullshit argument that it might simply be incompetence that the person was wrongfully convicted. One can agree that there is a difference between incompetence and deliberate deception however in these types of cases, where the stakes are so high, incompetence cannot be an extenuating circumstance.
The removal of an individual’s liberty by carelessness, hiding, losing, burying or ignoring information that would get them acquitted is actually beyond insane! This level of insanity needs to end. NOW!