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NCJ Number: 63190 Find in a Library
Title: ENFORCEMENT WORKSHOP - PRETRIAL POLICE PROCEDURES AND THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
Journal: CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN  Volume:15  Issue:6  Dated:(NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1979)  Pages:577-580
Author(s): L W SHERMAN
Corporate Author: Warren, Gorham and Lamont, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Warren, Gorham and Lamont, Inc
Boston, MA 02111
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE 1979 SUPREME COURT RULING WHICH LIMITS THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE TO THE TRIAL PROCESS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICE PRETRIAL PROCEDURES.
Abstract: IN BELL V. WOLFISH THE COURT OVERTURNED THE RULING OF TWO LOWER COURTS THAT RESTRICTIVE TREATMENT OF PRETRIAL DETAINEES BY A FEDERAL JAIL IN NEW YORK CITY HAD VIOLATED THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. THIS DECISION ALLOWS POLICE TO TREAT SUSPECTS AS IF THEY WERE GUILTY AND COULD ALTER INTERPRETATIONS OF MANY UNCLEAR AREAS INVOLVING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. IN DETERMINING THE EXTENT OF DUE PROCESS, INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS MUST BE WEIGHED AGAINST THOSE OF THE STATE AND A COURT MAY PERMIT AN INDIVIDUAL TO BE SEARCHED ON THE BASIS OF SUSPICION. WHEN THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE IS REMOVED, HOWEVER, THE SCALES ARE TIPPED IN FAVOR OF THE POLICE. THE NEW INTERPRETATION COULD ALSO LOWER REQUIREMENTS FOR EVIDENCE TO PROVE PROBABLE CAUSE. MANY PEOPLE WOULD ACCEPT INCREASED POLICE POWERS IN LOWER CLASS CRIMINAL CASES, BUT WOULD BE SHOCKED IF THEY WERE APPLIED TO CASES OF DRUG ABUSE OR CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCACY INVOLVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. IN REALITY THE FACTUAL PRESUMPTION OF GUILT BY POLICE COEXISTS WITH THE LEGAL PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE, BUT THE REMOVAL OF THE LATTER RESTRAINT COULD ENCOURAGE POLICE BRUTALITY AND OTHER ILLEGAL PRACTICES. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Crime control model; Due process model; Police Brutality; Pretrial procedures; Right to Due Process; US Supreme Court
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63190

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