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Monday, March 5, 2012

New, Creative Way to Fix Court Cases

'Tix fix' in reverse
The New York Post by Brad Hamilton  -  March 4, 2012
Some cops "lie' in court to avoid pay dock

The NYPD is so worried about ticket fixing that it has sent teams of Internal Affairs Bureau investigators to traffic court to spy on officers as they testify — and dock the pay or vacation days of cops who lose cases. The new system, devised by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly last year after the ticket-fixing scandal, permanently stations IAB investigators at each of the city’s eight traffic courts. There are three IAB sergeants at the Manhattan South Traffic Violations Bureau, at 19 Rector St., the city’s busiest, where they watch officers’ every move to make sure cops aren’t tanking cases to help out friends or family. The IAB team also listens to proceedings without being in the hearing rooms, which are wired with microphones. Undercover officers observe. Cops deemed to not have performed well risk losing as many as 10 vacation days or two weeks pay, sources said.  “They manage this through a spirit of fear,” said one veteran cop. “Maybe the officer doesn’t present his testimony good enough. So they say, ‘OK, we’re going to take a week’s pay from you.’ ” The result is higher conviction rates — and a tense atmosphere in which officers sometimes falsify their notes and don’t tell the truth in court to avoid being punished, police and defense lawyers say. Defense lawyers say sympathetic judges even coach cops on what to say. “They see these cops every day, and they get to know them,” said one. “If a guy’s going to get into trouble, it’s, like, ‘I don’t want to let that happen.’ ” Statistics obtained by The Post show that each of the six judges in Manhattan South logged a higher percentage of guilty verdicts last year than in 2010. Judge Mark Harris had the highest conviction rate — 65.4 percent, up 9 percent over 2010. Judge Claudio Collins went from 44.9 to 61.8 percent. The mounting stress has encouraged cops to fudge evidence, both sides say. “Officers aren’t being honest because they are under this tremendous pressure,” said defense lawyer Lauren Asher Rosenthal. “It’s had this chilling effect.” Said another attorney: “They turned good cops into lying cops.” One officer admitted to The Post that he lied in a recent case in which a driver contested a ticket for failing to signal a lane change. The motorist told a judge that his signal light wasn’t working, and he presented a repair bill showing the light had been fixed soon after the ticket was issued. When the judge asked the cop if he’d checked at the scene to make sure the light was working, the officer falsely claimed he’d done so — and promptly won the case. “It didn’t really bother me to say it. There’s no f--king way I’m losing my vacation over a vehicle summons,” the cop said.  Lawyer Stacy Posner said she spotted a cop scribbling notes about a ticket right before being called to testify. “When I asked when he made those notes, he said it was at the time of the summons. So I asked for the memo book and ran my finger down the notes. The ink came off on my finger. I still didn’t win.”

You just can’t win

How hard is it to win in traffic court? Hard — and getting much harder. A probe by a veteran traffic-court defense lawyer revealed spiking guilty rates for the six judges who hear cases at the Manhattan South bureau on Rector Street, the city’s busiest. Each convicted a higher percentage of drivers who argued cases against cops last year than in 2010, according to DMV stats that the lawyer received through a Freedom of Information request.  This comes following an NYPD crackdown that docks officers’ pay and vacation time if they make mistakes in court. Most are well known to judges, who might be sympathetic to their plight.

GUILTY TILL PROVEN GUILTY:  With Internal Affairs shadowing cops testifying in traffic court, officers are being pressured to stretch the truth, defense lawyers say.

Here’s the scorecard:


Anonymous said...

Surprise! It's all one big fraud! A Sham!

Anonymous said...

It all comes down to money in any court system. The rule of law doesn't matter any more.

Anonymous said...

This is not new, but has been going on for decades.

The first thing an officer learns to do is to lie on the stand. But, what is interesting is that the judges are in on it and the attorneys for the defendants condone it.

The whole system is a scam.

Anonymous said...

Lying police; venal judges; lying DA's; crooked lawyers = NY courts. Respect is earned or lost.
Was OJ guilty? Probably. Were the courts and police guilty? Certainly.
Do you believe police evidence?

Anonymous said...

Suffolk County tops all. They are seretly allowing an individual who is not a Police Officer. This person is involved in fraud for profit schemes with both SCPD & Judges.
Working in unison. They attached tracking device to the car of anyone who the have a bone to pick with.
The corrupt officers get notified of where the individual is driving by GPS.
Then ambusch them. Pull them over for failing to signal in a turning lane that has an arrow etc.
This gets tricky here. The officer is not the one writting these tickets. They are being written by the non police officer. Most don't know this. I would guess they think they will escape lliability for fraud and harassment. If the cops handwriting is not on the ticket.
Suffolk County is run by a nut at the top.

Anonymous said...

The system needs the money from the fines to fund the enterprise. All these thugs want to be paid, that's what gangsters do.

Anonymous said...

cops, prosecuters and judges all have the same boss. You want to impress the boss what a good job you are doing. Everyone knows that lawyers do not go after other lawyers. So this the defense lawyer rolls over to let the prosecuter get what ever he wants.
This way they keep a friend.
Now if you get a public defender lawyer t is same thing. All he wants to do is put in some hours so the state will pay him. He is not happy because the state does not pay good so he is only so he will say it took 3X more work than he put in. If he does a good job and gets his client off they will not bring him back on. That will make prosecutor look bad.
After all they all have the same BOSS

Searching For Rule Of Law In America said...

its not just in the traffic courts... and its not just the police officers that lie and misrepresent the facts in a legal matter...

this miscarriage of justice and disregard for the law seems to have become systematic to the system in NY...

the lawyers lie... the judges rule in favor of the favored law firms and fellow judges.. and the law, in both the bright line letter of the law as it is written, and also in the common law based on the rulings and opinions of the court in prior cases, is disregarded and ignored...

the law means nothing...
the facts mean nothing...

your rights as a citizen of the State of NY and of the United States of America mean nothing...

where is this Rule of Law i've heard so much about lately hiding...

--Michael Hense - Searching For Rule Of Law In America

Anonymous said...

H.F.G. crooked

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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