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gzt

gzt
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  #826633 27-May-2013 20:49
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blakamin:
gzt: The victim is perfectly able to speak for himself/herself and has chosen not to. No one else wants to get involved in it.



ummm... the victim is dead.

 Witnesses to the death of a Whakatu woman, who died as a result of burns on Christmas Day, have closed ranks and will not tell police what happened.

That's either total reading fail on my part - or the article has been updated. I saw two people with serious burns and potential witnesses not willing to say anything to police or get involved.

The article does not provide any information about how close these alleged witnesses were or what police believe witnesses saw or might have seen that they are not telling.

1080p
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  #826649 27-May-2013 20:56
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From the lawcom PDF:

"...a general immunity, possessed by all persons and bodies, from being compelled on pain of punishment to answer questions the answers to which may incriminate them..."

I will refer people to this presentation for an exposition of why saying literally anything may be later incriminating to your person.

The presentation is, admittedly, aimed toward the US situation but applies globally in many respects.

It does not matter if you are a suspect or not.

It does no matter if you are completely innocent.

A quote from the Fifth Amendment of the US constitution sums up my feelings on the issue fairly well:

"One of the Fifth Amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. Truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker's own mouth."

 
 
 
 


marmel
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  #826652 27-May-2013 21:05
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The British system is much better.

You get your chance to speak up when arrested, if you say nothing any "version" of events you later come up with in any trial is looked upon with the scorn it deserves.

1080p
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  #826698 27-May-2013 22:16
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networkn:
1080p: Wow... I'll leave this country if my right to silence is ever taken away.


If you are saying you should be allowed to be silent to protect someone who has killed another, then let me help you pack.

Having said that, you are welcome to silence, you just need to do it sitting in a cell :)


My right to silence has nothing at all to do with protecting others. I am allowed to remain silent if something I say may incriminate me. The fact of the matter is that almost anything you say may be in some manner used to incriminate you.


freitasm:
1080p: Wow... I'll leave this country if my right to silence is ever taken away.


In some countries (USA for example) you have the right to silence providing you would incriminate yourself by talking.

In any case, there's the option of the police saying these people are perverting the course of justice and legally get them behind bars.



I have a right to silence in New Zealand too if something I say may incriminate me. Proving a peversion of justice charge will be very difficult if no one speaks. The police are welcome to try.


freitasm:
scuwp:
Byrned: Perhaps if it can be proven that a crime was committed and all were evidence to it, but will not speak as to who did it, then they are all treated as having committed the crime?

Seems fair


I don't disagree, but the bottom line is the basic rights we all have enshrined in law including the right to remain silent, and the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.


There's no "right to remain silent" here because they are not talking to the suspect. There's no right to considered innocent here because they're not talking to the suspect.

The whole thing is about getting witnesses to tell investigators their version of the facts. Not doing so is a way to block justice, and there's a law for that.



It is immaterial whether you are a suspect or not. What if what you say during an interview (for any one of thousands of reasons) makes you a suspect?


networkn:
JimmyH:
1080p: Wow... I'll leave this country if my right to silence is ever taken away.


And I'll be on the same flight.

The right to silence is a long standing right established for pretty good reasons. Stopping, for instance, threats of jail time and torture being used to extract false evidence.

Maybe those left behind could then go the whole hog, and just allow the Police to pull out fingernails and beat confessions out of people with rubber hoses? They could hum the North Korean national anthem while they did it.


If you need help packing, or a ride to the airport, just let me know.  Seriously, there is a difference between the right to silence if you don't wish to incriminate yourself, and wasting police time, putting others at risk, and allowing a crime to go unpunished for the sake of protecting a guilty party. 

Your claims that it leads to police beatings for confessions is just FUD.




There is no difference, actually. Anything you say may at a later date be used as evidence against you. It is irrelevant that you may only be assumed to be a witness to a suspected crime at the time. If new evidence emerges that conflicts with your own it may cause you to become a suspect and then you have already made a statement to the police.

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  #826759 28-May-2013 03:35
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johnr: Lock them up throw away the key til they speak


So punishing (imprisoning) individuals in order to extract information which you  think they have.  

There's other methods involving punishments to get information you believe them to have, usually we just call it torture.  Generally it's looked on as rather distasteful to the public, and not particularly effective at producing RELIABLE evidence.

I see scant difference.







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marmel
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  #826776 28-May-2013 07:52
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Having some controls over what we can and can't do is part of living in a decent society.

Some will argue for stricter control and tougher laws and some will argue that we don't need to have much governance at all and that we should all live in harmony farting rainbows and loving one another.

I think the ideal sits somewhere in between but under current laws it can swing too far to the left under certain circumstances, some of which have already been mentioned above.

I also automatically ignore those that include fingernail pulling and torture in their argument as they have obviously run out of genuine points to make or have spent too much time in the chemtrails thread.

We all deserve to be protected against those that would kill defenseless children or set someone on fire and if it means that those who have information which could lead to the perpetrator being brought to justice have more pressure put on them to co-operate with the police then I am happy to see some of their own personal freedoms be removed if they fail to do this.


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  #827091 28-May-2013 14:57
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marmel: Having some controls over what we can and can't do is part of living in a decent society.

Some will argue for stricter control and tougher laws and some will argue that we don't need to have much governance at all and that we should all live in harmony farting rainbows and loving one another.

I think the ideal sits somewhere in between but under current laws it can swing too far to the left under certain circumstances, some of which have already been mentioned above.

I also automatically ignore those that include fingernail pulling and torture in their argument as they have obviously run out of genuine points to make or have spent too much time in the chemtrails thread.

We all deserve to be protected against those that would kill defenseless children or set someone on fire and if it means that those who have information which could lead to the perpetrator being brought to justice have more pressure put on them to co-operate with the police then I am happy to see some of their own personal freedoms be removed if they fail to do this.



You make a fatal assumption here. The police have no obligation to protect you. All they care about is law enforcement and providing cases which are able to be effectively prosecuted by the Crown. This is their job and their only responsibility.

A thought experiment: do you think the police would actively pursue other possibilities if they discovered (potentially incorrect) evidence that you were the perpetrator of an illegal act they were investigating? In a perfect world they would check everything but this in unlikely to happen in reality. If you had previously given a statement to the police as a witness which then conflicted with what they discover suddenly you are suspect number one and your statement is used as evidence against you. Regardless of your innocence you just built a case against yourself by opening your mouth.

If I choose to remain silent when interviewed by the police that is my right and that choice should never be taken away from any citizen.

The number of people in here willing to throw away their civil liberties as soon as something tragic occurs in the name of 'safety' makes me cringe.

To paraphrase a famous Franklin: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

 
 
 
 


marmel
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  #827124 28-May-2013 15:40
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1080p:
marmel: Having some controls over what we can and can't do is part of living in a decent society.

Some will argue for stricter control and tougher laws and some will argue that we don't need to have much governance at all and that we should all live in harmony farting rainbows and loving one another.

I think the ideal sits somewhere in between but under current laws it can swing too far to the left under certain circumstances, some of which have already been mentioned above.

I also automatically ignore those that include fingernail pulling and torture in their argument as they have obviously run out of genuine points to make or have spent too much time in the chemtrails thread.

We all deserve to be protected against those that would kill defenseless children or set someone on fire and if it means that those who have information which could lead to the perpetrator being brought to justice have more pressure put on them to co-operate with the police then I am happy to see some of their own personal freedoms be removed if they fail to do this.



You make a fatal assumption here. The police have no obligation to protect you. All they care about is law enforcement and providing cases which are able to be effectively prosecuted by the Crown. This is their job and their only responsibility.

A thought experiment: do you think the police would actively pursue other possibilities if they discovered (potentially incorrect) evidence that you were the perpetrator of an illegal act they were investigating? In a perfect world they would check everything but this in unlikely to happen in reality. If you had previously given a statement to the police as a witness which then conflicted with what they discover suddenly you are suspect number one and your statement is used as evidence against you. Regardless of your innocence you just built a case against yourself by opening your mouth.

If I choose to remain silent when interviewed by the police that is my right and that choice should never be taken away from any citizen.

The number of people in here willing to throw away their civil liberties as soon as something tragic occurs in the name of 'safety' makes me cringe.

To paraphrase a famous Franklin: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.



You don't appear to have a grasp of the workings of the justice system.

The police only gather information and put it before the court where their is a prima facie case. You and others who argue against reduction of your "civil liberties" always seem to lump the police into the argument as judge, jury and executioner.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In serious cases evidence would have been examined by not only several levels of police management but also by lawyers working for the crown, defence lawyers who can make submissions to have matters dismissed, a judge at various pre-trial procedures and finally a judge or jury at any subsequent trial.

If you do "open your mouth" I think the vast majority of people in NZ would be happy for that process to do it's job and innocent people not be appearing before the court. Yes there will always be the odd exception but there always is with any involved process.

Why is your right to silence more important than the rights of others who have been murdered or the rights of parents to protect their children from "innocent" people like those involved in the death of the Kahui twins??



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  #827126 28-May-2013 15:41
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1080p:

If I choose to remain silent when interviewed by the police that is my right and that choice should never be taken away from any citizen.

The number of people in here willing to throw away their civil liberties as soon as something tragic occurs in the name of 'safety' makes me cringe.


So to quote from the artiicle:

Witnesses to the death of a Whakatu woman, who died as a result of burns on Christmas Day, have closed ranks and will not tell police what happened.


"At this time the people who were at the address when Amelia suffered her burns have chosen not to formally speak to police about this event," Detective Senior Sergeant Dave de Lange said.


You saying thats OK?

Im appalled actually that we have people in our society that believe something like this is OK in the name of "I have a right to shut up"

Witnesses know what happened. Somebody is dead, and they shutting up to avoid prosecution.

The laws need to be changed to deal with these people so that they can be put where they belong. The whole lot of them. Surely not telling police what happened is similar to withholding evidence?



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  #827176 28-May-2013 16:31
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that's where spying comes in :D




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


gzt

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  #827198 28-May-2013 17:25
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Does anybody actually know why potential witnesses to this series of events have nothing to say to police? It seems there is a lot of speculation and no facts.

gzt

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  #827296 28-May-2013 20:20
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Mostly this discussion so devoid of facts it might as well be a hypothetical situation.

So let's consider a hypothetical situation where the right to be free of coercion protects the truly innocent:

A family (Dad, Mum, four kids) is living in a rough neighborhood. Mum or Dad witnesses a gang related argument during which one person is badly injured and later dies in hospital. The family had a hard time getting a good house, now they have a stable life and a good educational environment. Moving house would create very difficult circumstances. Dad knows already neither gang talks to the police. The kids go to school with several family members on both sides of the argument. From past experience the family knows things will get very unpleasant if they are seen to get involved in matters where they are not affected. Dad decides it will not serve the interests of the family to get involved with the police in this. A next door neighbor says that Dad had a very good view of the situation. When the police turn up on Dad's doorstep Dad has already decided to say nothing. Dad knows the police are unable to protect his family from the consequences.

In this case the right to silence is protecting an innocent family from severe hardship and events which will affect the education of their children.

Should Dad have the civil liberty to make this decision without fear of prosecution?
Should Dad be threatened with prosecution for non-cooperation?
If Dad is convicted how much time should Dad serve?
Should Dad get a discount on his sentence because of his motivation?

This are not rhetorical questions. They deserve a genuine and considered response.

It's easy to say Dad should man up and guide his family through this even at considerable loss to them all, but for the purposes of the discussion assume that the decision is made already.

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  #827306 28-May-2013 20:31
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marmel:
1080p:
marmel: Having some controls over what we can and can't do is part of living in a decent society.

Some will argue for stricter control and tougher laws and some will argue that we don't need to have much governance at all and that we should all live in harmony farting rainbows and loving one another.

I think the ideal sits somewhere in between but under current laws it can swing too far to the left under certain circumstances, some of which have already been mentioned above.

I also automatically ignore those that include fingernail pulling and torture in their argument as they have obviously run out of genuine points to make or have spent too much time in the chemtrails thread.

We all deserve to be protected against those that would kill defenseless children or set someone on fire and if it means that those who have information which could lead to the perpetrator being brought to justice have more pressure put on them to co-operate with the police then I am happy to see some of their own personal freedoms be removed if they fail to do this.



You make a fatal assumption here. The police have no obligation to protect you. All they care about is law enforcement and providing cases which are able to be effectively prosecuted by the Crown. This is their job and their only responsibility.

A thought experiment: do you think the police would actively pursue other possibilities if they discovered (potentially incorrect) evidence that you were the perpetrator of an illegal act they were investigating? In a perfect world they would check everything but this in unlikely to happen in reality. If you had previously given a statement to the police as a witness which then conflicted with what they discover suddenly you are suspect number one and your statement is used as evidence against you. Regardless of your innocence you just built a case against yourself by opening your mouth.

If I choose to remain silent when interviewed by the police that is my right and that choice should never be taken away from any citizen.

The number of people in here willing to throw away their civil liberties as soon as something tragic occurs in the name of 'safety' makes me cringe.

To paraphrase a famous Franklin: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.



You don't appear to have a grasp of the workings of the justice system.

The police only gather information and put it before the court where their is a prima facie case. You and others who argue against reduction of your "civil liberties" always seem to lump the police into the argument as judge, jury and executioner.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In serious cases evidence would have been examined by not only several levels of police management but also by lawyers working for the crown, defence lawyers who can make submissions to have matters dismissed, a judge at various pre-trial procedures and finally a judge or jury at any subsequent trial.

If you do "open your mouth" I think the vast majority of people in NZ would be happy for that process to do it's job and innocent people not be appearing before the court. Yes there will always be the odd exception but there always is with any involved process.

Why is your right to silence more important than the rights of others who have been murdered or the rights of parents to protect their children from "innocent" people like those involved in the death of the Kahui twins??




You're absolutely right. The police are not judge, jury, and executioner. They are, when it comes to criminal proceedings, nothing more than information gatherers for the Crown.

The problem is, they often miss (and misinterpret) things during that information collection and this can be incredibly bad for even innocent people.

The evidence is examined by many people up the chain but not much more perspective is added after police build their case and pass it to the prosecutor.

In cases that are serious and there is a lack of evidence a witness/suspect statement can be very important to the case.


Klipspringer:
1080p:

If I choose to remain silent when interviewed by the police that is my right and that choice should never be taken away from any citizen.

The number of people in here willing to throw away their civil liberties as soon as something tragic occurs in the name of 'safety' makes me cringe.


So to quote from the artiicle:

Witnesses to the death of a Whakatu woman, who died as a result of burns on Christmas Day, have closed ranks and will not tell police what happened.


"At this time the people who were at the address when Amelia suffered her burns have chosen not to formally speak to police about this event," Detective Senior Sergeant Dave de Lange said.


You saying thats OK?

Im appalled actually that we have people in our society that believe something like this is OK in the name of "I have a right to shut up"

Witnesses know what happened. Somebody is dead, and they shutting up to avoid prosecution.

The laws need to be changed to deal with these people so that they can be put where they belong. The whole lot of them. Surely not telling police what happened is similar to withholding evidence?




You are putting words in my mouth. I don't think any of this is OK. I think the situation is tragic.

Despite this, I think giving the police the power to compel potential witnesses to make a statement is an awful overreach of power.

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  #827318 28-May-2013 20:47
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networkn:
JimmyH:
1080p: Wow... I'll leave this country if my right to silence is ever taken away.


And I'll be on the same flight.

The right to silence is a long standing right established for pretty good reasons. Stopping, for instance, threats of jail time and torture being used to extract false evidence.

Maybe those left behind could then go the whole hog, and just allow the Police to pull out fingernails and beat confessions out of people with rubber hoses? They could hum the North Korean national anthem while they did it.


If you need help packing, or a ride to the airport, just let me know.  Seriously, there is a difference between the right to silence if you don't wish to incriminate yourself, and wasting police time, putting others at risk, and allowing a crime to go unpunished for the sake of protecting a guilty party. 

Your claims that it leads to police beatings for confessions is just FUD.



First, I think you need to take three deep breaths and look up the meaning of hyperbole.

But, although I was exaggerating to make a point, it's a slippery slope. Extracting testimony by coercion is a slippery slope - starting with the threats of jail or a stiff fine if you don't tell all that some people here seem so fond of, and ultimately ending at the nastier end of the spectrum. Also, as we have seen even in little old NZ, some police aren't averse to bending rules evidence to get their man (look up the Arthur Allen Thomas case).

For some people, implied threats made by a man in uniform "you know, you could be looking at a long jail sentence for perverting the course of justice if you don't stand up in court and tell the jury what you *really* saw" are terrifying - and will be more so if they know they actually can be jailed for failing to speak. The police have already been caught doing a version of this on occasions before - where they promise not to oppose early release of a prisoner if they give "evidence" on their cellmate etc.

That's why most courts don't attach too much weight to evidence extracted from a witness under pressure - and the police have been known to try very hard to avoid a jury being told that promises were made to a prisoner etc in exchange for them giving testimony. Evidence extracted from a reluctant witness under pressure is far less likely to be truthful than other testimony. False evidence extracted under pressure has a very real risk of convicting innocent people.

Plus, while there was hyperbole involved, my comment wasn't entirely hypothetical. The right to stay silent rather than give evidence against yourself was established for very good reason in English law - including the fact that false confessions were quite often literally tortured out of people. The rack was a favoured method if I remember my law lectures. It can happen in the modern world in law-bound democracies too. Waterboarding of suspects by the US springs to mind.




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  #829271 1-Jun-2013 17:45
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marmel: We all deserve to be protected against those that would kill defenseless children or set someone on fire and if it means that those who have information which could lead to the perpetrator being brought to justice have more pressure put on them to co-operate with the police then I am happy to see some of their own personal freedoms be removed if they fail to do this.

And what if innocent people are convicted because someone was under pressure of punishment to produce information they did not have? There are good reasons our legal system has evolved these protections.

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