John Oliver explains how prosecutors use, or in some cases misuse, their power within our criminal justice system and why it’s important to know whether or not your district attorney is a dog.

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LastWeekTonight : Prosecutors: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)


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  1. The Jews of the Judical system are very judgemental, we got it… There is a reson why there is Jewish name Judith exists. Rodney is an Ukranian/Russian second name means related/relative.

  2. It's scary to hear how similar prosecutors are to the prosecutors in the Ace Attorney games. The games revolve around you playing a defense attorney who is trying to prove his clients innocent the examining evidence and providing counter-arguments. Some points may not happen as often, and there may be some stretch theories, the patterns are still there. To go through the list:

    Strike plea deals: Normally the plea would be self-defense but the clients in the game know they did not do it and labeling them as a person who still killed someone would be hard for some of them to deal with. (Pretty rare in the game)

    Giving evidence to the defense at the last minute: Prosecutors in the game view the evidence as weapons for attacking the defense and will hold off revealing until they think the time is right. Examples in the game are when an updated autopsy report is presented, or the murder weapon is produced in the middle of the trial. (Happens in almost every case)

    Accountability towards crimes they have committed: Many of the prosecutors in the game are shown committing a crime that they very rarely if at all, get in trouble with and it's practically insane some of what they get away with. Ex. Miles Edgeworth withholds important witness testimony, Franziska Von Karma uses a whip in the courtroom, Godot takes his cup of hot coffee and through at the defense attorney's face. (Happens in almost every case)

    Prosecutors are paid more for convictions: While a bit of a stretch, most of the prosecutors are shown to have no real worries about money. The main prosecutor of the series, Miles Edgeworth, is shown to be very formal, owns an expensive red sports car, and lives in a mansion. His own guardian and mentor, Manfred Von Karma, is also shown to have a similar lifestyle to Miles and his wealth would make sense as he has never lost a single case in his 40-year long career as a prosecutor. (Mainly correlation but still interesting)

    'Win at all costs' culture: Many of the prosecutors in the game adapt this as the ONLY way of being a professional prosecutor. As mentioned before, Manfred Von Karma had a 40-year win streak, and Miles Edgeworth had a 5-year win streak. Because of what they were taught, they believed that their purpose was to find every defendant guilty, as they are nothing but a criminal trying to escape the law. This ended up with innocent people being convicted as guilty. The most common crime that happens in the game is murder, and in the game, it is worthy of a death penalty that can sometimes be carried out in less than two years. (A lot of prosecutors are like this)

    As far as these points go, the prosecutors are a little more extreme with these points, but they are not that different when looked at correctly. The problem is that these points work okay in a game because IT'S A GAME. You have as much time as you need to solve the case, you can create a checkpoint to go back to certain moments and repeat them, there is normally a single path to follow with the truth at the end of it, and it doesn't affect real lives. These prosecutors work fine in the game because of these facts, but in real life, they would be the worst kind of people to be in the courtroom, which unfortunately seems to somewhat be the case.

  3. when will John Oliver focus on catch and release of drug, weapon, theft offenders n cook county. There are people with more than 70 arrest being released to pray on society for political reasons. Everyone gets an i – bond

  4. As far as I can tell, a lot of the problems within the Justice System (at least, the ones presented on Last Week Tonight) all come down to HOW these people are paid. For example:
    -Cops get paid by arrests, and
    -Prosecuters get paid by convictions
    If they were to get paid by a standard metric, such as by the hour, do you think this might lessen the corruption and wrongful convictions? Just a thought.

  5. In Canada the disclosure as it is called must be complete before trial cordinator gets a hold of it. I used to work as a law clerk for a criminal lawyer and I used to have to pick this up.
    If there is new evidence then the crown gets ass kicked by judge and then we have to do a recess to give time to add the information to the case.

  6. Have you ever heard the phrase  “it is better a hundred guilty persons should escape than one innocent person should suffer.”? Benjamin Franklin said that, and he didnt know it, but he was deciding an Alpha level of .01 for the Hypothesis test (in this case a trial), in which the null hypothesis is always 'not guilty'. In reality, type one errors are more common in the justice system than type two errors and that is horrific. When the highest incarceration rate in the world ( besides arguably North Korea) is the result of a system so skewed, that is tyranny.


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