Convictions and Accusations – an essay












I read an interesting article recently about the police in the UK. Under pressure to gain convictions, they have used methods throughout their history to get a case closed by forcing a confession, even from someone they know isn’t guilty. In cases many, the person has later revealed they had been coerced into “admission of guilt” and convictions quashed on appeal, often many years later.

Worse than this, some police have also “pinned evidence” (framed) on the someone, once again, to get the conviction statistics up.

But, in my view, worse even than this is when a policeman, a detective, or even a whole team have admitted (often in their diaries and memoirs) to having judged someone, seen the “evidence” in a distorted way, targeted one person out of sheer ease, simply to feel secure and having their own personal sense of “closure” on a case. They are amazed later to discover that someone else entirely was guilty, and even more amazed to realise that their own sense of certainty was built mostly on their own corrupted motives. In a few cases, it is too late to put the matter right.

It’s worse when there are two or more on the team, as often, one person’s distorted view can influence others to “convict in their minds” another person. Classic demonisation. Whole teams of police can soon create a whole cauldron of distortion. Many innocent people have been sent to prison because of these behaviours.

Often, looking back, the policeman admits to having become obsessed, even paranoid at NOT having nailed the real criminal. Of course, the accuser who makes such false accusations, who concocts evidence purely out of their own distorted or twisted psychology and NEED for resolution, becomes a kind of legalised criminal (sometimes even a real one if the law deems them to have been corrupt or seriously negligent). THEY become the cruel ones. What’s most interesting to read in the diaries and memoirs is that the friendships and close relationships often developed by the accusers then begin to crumble as they implicitly know of their own errors and corrupted attitudes and actions. Longer term guilt sets in like rust on metal. Their fellowship in demonising the wrongly accused, breaks down in the longer run, particularly if they have a conscience.

I believe this phenomenon in the process of policing probably occurs in similar ways in society at large. The fact that we want to know WHO has done something, doesn’t necessarily mean that the person nearest to us who might be angry or upset IS the person. The fact that this or that piece of “evidence”, if stretched, leads to this or that hasty conclusion, doesn’t mean the conclusion si right. Once accusations and convictions are made towards innocent people, the damage is done, the harm can be great. I find it sad that the false accusers in the legal system do not personally seek forgiveness, profoundly and in a sustained way, more often. Then again, a lot of people don’t seek forgiveness in society as a whole any more. Nevertheless, when you break someone with a false charge, you also fracture your own soul.

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