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Date: 20 Jun 2000
It looks to me like you have discovered the Rosetta Stone with which to decipher how it is the Los Angeles District Attorney's Offices was able to boast of a 95% conviction rate for so long. They stacked the deck.
In my radio interviews I try to mention the power of the Primacy Effect (the power of first impressions to color one's evaluation of subsequent information) and the Latency Effect (the power of last impressions to have a lasting impact). In California, the prosecution has the first word and the last word in criminal trials. That alone assures a fairly high percentage of convictions regardless of the merits of the case. The close calls will probably go to the prosecution with the jurors believing, in good conscience, that the case against the accused was not close at all. When you factor in active and systematic cooperation between the police and prosecutors to rig the results of the trial before it begins, the 95% conviction rate becomes a foregone conclusion. So does the arrest, prosecution and conviction of thousands of innocent people. --Jasper