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Comment: dash cams. (Score 1) 272

by FatLittleMonkey (#47786259) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Connick v. Thompson. Prosecutors withheld proof that the defendant was innocent. Defendant spent 18 years in prison, 14 on death row, before his lawyer accidentally found out about the suppressed evidence. Thompson sued the city, was awarded $14 million. Various appeals courts upheld the award.

Multiple courts, including the Supreme Court, ruled to be a clear violation of the defendant's constitutional rights, but the Supreme Court overturned lower court upholding the award and instead ruled, 5-to-4, that the city couldn't be held liable for prosecutorial misconduct. (The prosecutor already holds individual absolute immunity.) Clarence Thomas wrote that the city could not be held liable because the fact that its prosecutor blatantly violated the Constitution was not enough to make the city liable, unless it could be proved that its own specific policies had violated the Constitution.

In a similar case, they extended police immunity by ruling that a police officer couldn't be held liable for violation of a defendant's rights unless "every reasonable officer" working for the city would be aware of the issue, regardless of how gross the violation was. This continues a pattern of such bizarre rulings by the 5 "conservative" justices. (And a growing pattern of other court rulings. "Conservative" justices on California's supreme court just ruled that exercising your right to silence can be used as evidence against you, specifically a judge can use it to increase the severity of your sentence, unless you announce specifically that you are invoking the 5th Amendment each time you don't speak. Even if "exercising your right to silence" is simply not talking to the police until you get a lawyer, this can be used as evidence of your "callous disregard" by the court. (Note that this specifically goes against the argument behind the original "Miranda" ruling, which was based on the idea that people couldn't reasonably know their right to silence/lawyer/etc unless it was spelled out.))

Comment: Re:Media (Score 1) 272

by FatLittleMonkey (#47785061) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

because they are so extremely rare!

Not really.

In the US, police are responsible for at least 400 deaths per year, about 2/3rds of them of black men. We're not sure about the exact number. There are no official national records of police shootings, and efforts by civilians to create such a national record has been continuously hampered by officials, including the FBI which is normally tasked with tracking this stuff. The FBI claims about 400 "justified homicides" of civilians are reported to them by police, but the FBI doesn't actively track shootings and specifically excludes unjustified or suspicious homicides. They also don't track other deaths in custody. (Like the guy in Louisiana who "committed suicide" by shooting himself in the chest... while his hands were cuffed behind his back, shackled in the back of a police cruiser, after having been repeatedly searched for weapons.)

FiveThirtyEight tried to estimate the total number of police homicides and worked out that it could be anywhere up to 3000/yr. The "Killed by police" Facebook news aggregator has tracked about 1,100 per year.

By contrast, last year, in the UK (population about 1/5th the US), police did not cause a single shooting fatality, and, across the whole country, officers fired their weapons in just three incidents. Proportionally, they should have 200/yr. Similarly, Australia should have 60-70 fatal police shootings per year to match the US rate, but averages about 6.

Something is very very wrong with the police in your country.

So rare that they make interesting news stories.

Actually most police shootings don't get reported widely. On average, using only the official statistics, police in the US kill a black man every 28 hours. Did you read about all 300+ of them? Such as John Crawford in Ohio, who was shot and killed by police in a Walmart while leaning on a BB-gun he was buying? Happened in the same week as the Michael Brown shooting. The Ferguson killing only made the news because of the outrage it provoked in the community, boiling over after years of racially driven brutality by police.

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 1) 272

by FatLittleMonkey (#47784473) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Slashdot cracks me up
Red faced and angry about the coming Surveillance State
Damned happy to have every cop be a walking surveillance unit
Anybody else see the irony?

Doesn't it give you pause when things have gotten so bad that even paranoid anti-surveillance nerds are crying "yes please please record all my interactions with authority! Document everything!"

Comment: dash cams. (Score 3, Informative) 272

by FatLittleMonkey (#47784309) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

if the potential suspect decides to sue for any kind of wrongdoing on the part of the police officer

The Supreme Court recently ruled that cities/counties can't be held financially liable for rights violations by their officers, no matter how egregious. And the officers themselves hold a professional immunity while on duty, so they already can't be individually sued.

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 2) 272

by FatLittleMonkey (#47783887) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

So making them wear cameras is only one step on an endless fight against abuse. You're surprised? It's not a one-step process and then we win. You have to keep pushing. It's not as if they aren't constantly pushing from the other direction.

Look how long it's taken to win the nation-wide right to record an encounter with police and the fact that in spite of the clear nation-wide right, many police still confiscate/destroy cameras/phones. Boy, that effort must be worthless then... Except that before the main win, many counties/states were making it illegal to record cops.

Comment: Re:"Amid heightened tensions with Russia" (Score 1) 107

by FatLittleMonkey (#47741695) Attached to: Air Force Requests Info For Replacement Atlas 5 Engine

No. If you are using the phrase, "Don't bury the lede", specifically to invoke that journalistic cliché, then only the jargon (retro-neologism) spelling is acceptable. Never respell quotes. If you are just generally discussing the lead paragraph in an article, then it's fine to use whatever spelling is familiar to you, as I just did.

Comment: Re:What you're religion does (Score 1) 443

by FatLittleMonkey (#47734339) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

How does Bruno's crime change my point? I don't care if his crime was calling the Pope a paedophile, they burned him alive. You, OTOH, can call climate science a giant hoax (and many deniers do), you can liken individual climate scientists to mass murderers or terrorists (and some deniers have), you can even liken it to religion... and... we still won't burn you alive.

The most and worst thing scientists can do to you is deny you publicity in the journals which they control, and reject your application for grant money from funds they control.

Science can't prevent you from publishing your work online. Or creating your own journals (with blackjack and hookers). Science can't prevent corporations and wealthy opponents of a specific science (climate change, evolution, tobacco-cancer, etc) from offering you money to make up faux science to support their industry. Science can't stop those industries and individuals from throwing money at politicians to change laws in their favour, against the recommendations of scientists. Science can't even stop those bought-politicians from fucking around with science funding and government reports to harm science their masters don't like.

But OMG science is totally like the Inquisition!

Comment: Re:Wait (Score 3, Interesting) 443

by FatLittleMonkey (#47726503) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Deep ocean water is cold.

Because the Pacific ocean is thousands of kilometres wide, but only a couple of kilometres deep, changes in wind patterns can cover or uncover different layers of ocean waters.

If the pattern uncovers a deep layer (as happens during La Nina), then the atmosphere cools.

If the pattern covers the deep layers (as happens during El Nino), then the atmosphere warms.

This is above and in addition to any underlying warming from rising CO2 levels.

Since 2000 there's been an unusual number of La Nina years. Under normal circumstances, this should have produced a noticeably cool period, similar to the 1940s and 1890s. Instead the decade was still the warmest on record. Weird huh.

Comment: Re:And there you are (Score 1, Troll) 443

by FatLittleMonkey (#47726435) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Yes, religions have been using that trick for hundreds of years to escape questions.

No, what religions do is torture and murder heretics. Science just doesn't pay attention to them until they meet higher standards of evidence, proportionate to the level of heresy. Tiny bit different.

+ - The first particle physics evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It’s the holy grail of modern particle physics: discovering the first smoking-gun, direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Sure, there are unanswered questions and unsolved puzzles, ranging from dark matter to the hierarchy problem to the strong-CP problem, but there’s no experimental result clubbing us over the head that can’t be explained with standard particle physics. That is, the physics of the Standard Model in the framework of quantum field theory. Or is there? Take a look at the evidence from the muon’s magnetic moment, and see what might be the future of physics!"

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas