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View Full Version : Crime committed. Arrest made. No prosecution... ?


umie76
06-12-2011, 1:01 AM
Article in the Sacramento Bee today:
Sacramento County DA faces new staff cuts (http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/12/3693959/sacramento-county-da-faces-new.html)

Quotes from the article:

"Case filings by law enforcement have stayed relatively consistent in the last four years, but filings by the district attorney dropped 8 percent because the office has stopped prosecuting certain crimes..."

"The office has also seen deep cuts to support staff and investigators. The office – which is responsible for investigations once police file a case for prosecution – has lost 15 of its investigators, leaving 20, a cut of more than 42 percent. As a result, cases have been dropped or pleaded to lesser charges because investigators couldn't find witnesses or other evidence.."

Criminals read the news, too. I'm guessing it's going to be a wild summer here.

So what do you predict will change regarding LEO procedures/priorities/attitude/morale until budgets revive (in 2014 if we're lucky) ? Does Sac County's recent CCW 'shall issue' policy factor in at all?

I know budget cuts have been happening for several years - so how has your job changed already?

What can we (average joe) do to help?

Roddd
06-12-2011, 3:55 AM
There is a constant "silent" battle between LE and the DA's Office. The charges a criminal goes into court with and leaves said courtroom with often vary greatly. The DA prosecutes what it knows it will win (understandably). It's the nature of the beast. There are many factors. Sometimes lack of witness testimony contributes, poor officer report writing ability, among many other things. As for what the general population can do, witness testimony is key. A lot of times the witness I have interviewed who are all about testifying in court at the crime scene, often are hesitant when the case finally hits a courtroom. As for what else can be done by civilians, I honestly don't know. You could demand more from the DA's Office. You could demand more from the legislature...but hey, it's California...

yzernie
06-12-2011, 7:22 AM
[COLOR=black]As a result, cases have been dropped or pleaded to lesser charges because investigators couldn't find witnesses or other evidence.
This has been going on for the 33+ years I have been in LE. It's importnat enough for people to give us a statement and then they get in the wind and we never find them.

We had a case Wednesday night of this last week, a dude beats the living crap out of his girl and puts her in the ICU for a night...fractured orbital, broken nose, two lost teeth, cracked ribs...you get the picture. We got a "No File" notice because when the DA contacted her she told the DDA that she looooooved him and the DA's office did not believe they would be able to get a conviction. This kind of nonsense happens every day.

What is it going to take?...IMHO, people are going to have to stand up for themselves, their families and their fellow man and not allow the pussification of society to continue.

nobody33
06-12-2011, 1:19 PM
What is it going to take?...IMHO, people are going to have to stand up for themselves, their families and their fellow man and not allow the pussification of society to continue.

You said it best right there. Our society is becoming a bunch of pansy bi***es. Everyone is a victim and no one takes responsibility for their actions.

Petro6golf
06-12-2011, 4:48 PM
If you wanna see something scary, look at SacPD's crime map for 2010

http://www.sacpd.org/pdf/crimestats/cwpin.pdf

Spanky8601
06-12-2011, 6:20 PM
What is it going to take?...IMHO, people are going to have to stand up for themselves, their families and their fellow man and not allow the pussification of society to continue.

Look that up in your Funk and Wagner. I love creative and descriptive terms that can say so much in one word. :rockon:

Falconis
06-12-2011, 7:04 PM
Article in the Sacramento Bee today:
Sacramento County DA faces new staff cuts (http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/12/3693959/sacramento-county-da-faces-new.html)

Quotes from the article:

"Case filings by law enforcement have stayed relatively consistent in the last four years, but filings by the district attorney dropped 8 percent because the office has stopped prosecuting certain crimes..."

"The office has also seen deep cuts to support staff and investigators. The office which is responsible for investigations once police file a case for prosecution has lost 15 of its investigators, leaving 20, a cut of more than 42 percent. As a result, cases have been dropped or pleaded to lesser charges because investigators couldn't find witnesses or other evidence.."

Criminals read the news, too. I'm guessing it's going to be a wild summer here.

So what do you predict will change regarding LEO procedures/priorities/attitude/morale until budgets revive (in 2014 if we're lucky) ? Does Sac County's recent CCW 'shall issue' policy factor in at all?

I know budget cuts have been happening for several years - so how has your job changed already?

What can we (average joe) do to help?

Damn near fell out of my chair when I read that.

You as the average citizen should see where your tax money goes locally. The problem with the city I work for is that we do have the money to pay for basic city services. The reason we don't have any money is because the politicians keep earmarking a portion of the budget for their pet projects. An old Chief of ours use to comment what good is it to keep the library open 7 days a week when you have to shoot in and out of it. Once you find the worthless pet projects of politicians, go to the council and demand that the pet social project be shut down in favor or saving a public safety or public works position.

Notorious
06-13-2011, 12:20 AM
The problems are too long to list or discuss here in a simple post.

We, the street cops, make an arrest based on PROBABLE CAUSE, then submit all the evidence we have to the DA, who has to review it and see if they can get a conviction based on REASONABLE DOUBT, which is a substantially higher threshhold.

Now, realistically, we pretty much arrest based on what we see or what we get in witness testimony and direct evidence when it's patrol level. Detectives get more into the indirect evidence and build cases around circumstantial stuff and whatnot.

The DA has to translate all that into the courtroom, go through the physical evidence, witness testimony, procedures in evidence gathering, reliability of witnesses, everything, into one cogent mess which he thinks he can sell to a jury to the level of beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT. Not an easy thing to do with the way the system works and how life is on the streets.

People forget, disappear, change their minds, get intimidated, lie, forgive, name it... we lose more witnesses than anything else as the trial drags on. Then there are those who call us for help and when we sort it out, they decide they didn't want to press charges when it's all said and done. They just wanted to make a point.

Then you get the DA's who are swamped and just want to settle what they can to get rid of their workload. In LA County, a plea bargain is the same as a conviction for their internal stats so there is an incentive for take a lesser crime plea than go to trial.

J_B
06-16-2011, 2:50 AM
Yes...it's been frustrating to deal with this in Sac and I'm sure everywhere else. BUT what do ya do? Continue to make the arrests/submit reports.