On November 12th, 2006 the Sheriff's Department went on the air in an interview boasting of having caught three young males for the shooting deaths of two attendants at a Carson gas station based on obscure surveillance film froom a neighboring business.
They no longer called them suspects, but presented the case as closed insofar as they were concerned. In a grab for glory they boasted of catching the three big fish at the expense of true justice. This is not a question of whether or not the officers involved in locating and arresting the men have sufficient evidence to convince themselves as well as a jury, but it is a question of trying those three men in the media before they have a chance to defend themselves.
The growing police state in America is made worse by the fact those men whether innocent or guilty probably cannot afford a real legal defense which the Sheriff's department knows quite well or they would not have violated their rights to make a grab for glory.
Had it been the Kennedy's or O.J. Simpson, the Sheriff's department would have been much more restrained in what they said in the television interview.
Those three will most likely have court appointed lawyers who will say nothing at all about the defendents being tried and convicted in the press by the Sheriff's department. They will not receive adequate representation, but the court appointed lawyers will do as they almost always do; whatever pleases the court.
The solution to media convictions is possible somewhat through legislation criminalizing law enforcements for reporting the capture of suspects as anything more than suspects. Crowing about the strength of the evidence ought to become illegal as well as their storytelling anything at all regarding the apprehension of the suspects. All evidence belongs in the court room and not in the media.
In this way the law would be designed to protect suspects from
law enforcement officials seeking to promote themselves at the
expense of justice. And when they do, they ought to be fined
severely and if the situation warrants it, suspects who cannot
obtain a fair trial ought to be free of all accusations if the
evidence is marginal enough to justify it.