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  • Cops 1, scumbag 0

    From the Niagara Gazette, May 30, 2003

    SEATTLE - Not long ago, John Nicholas Athan got an official-looking letter about a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of people who had been overcharged on parking tickets.
    He licked the self-addressed envelope, set it back and waited to hear if he would get any money.
    In truth, there was no lawsuit-- but there was DNA.
    The letter was part of a ruse devised by detectives to get a sample of Athan
    We do not all come to religion over the wandering years,
    but sooner or later we all get to meet God. -- Edward Conlon

  • #2
    Okay...not that I mind having a murderer off the streets. I don't.

    And I don't have a problem with using DNA evidence.

    But can someone explain to me why it would be illegal to show up at his house and force him to give a DNA sample (or maybe take it from a glass of water, nail clippings, whatever) and yet tricking him is okay?

    I just don't see how the detectives can't expect this evidence to be thrown out as poison fruit...??
    I haven't felt this good since we stole the 2000 elections!--Ned Flanders

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I think it's a novel idea and amen that a murder is solved...but I get the feeling it will be an interesting evidentiary ruling, especially in a very liberal state like Washington.
      "A man's got to know his limitations" --Inspector Harry Callahan in Magnum Force

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      • #4
        Imagine the DNA database the IRS has.
        Bill R

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        • #5
          I don't see any difference between this and using a police informant in a jail cell to gain information from a suspect, or even when a police officer works in an undercover capacity and observes people breaking the law. In all cases, the people most certainly would not act as they did had they known that it was a police operation, but that doesn't make the evidence tainted.
          It would seem fairly clear that the saliva wasn't coerced or forced from the suspect and that he gave it up of his own free will, albeit under false pretenses. But if the SC has ruled that we can lie to suspects when we are interviewing them, why would it be any different if they weren't even aware that police were involved.
          Padres makes a good point though, especially if Washington is part of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals jurisdiction. They will most certainly find something wrong with it but hopefully the SC will, for the millionth time, reverse them.

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          • #6
            Once they receive it, it's their property and they can do anything they want with it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Did they already have Athan's DNA on record?

              It occurs to me that even if his DNA was with the Police, another DNA sample to confirm that "he" is Athan would still be needed

              whatever
              I applaud initiative stuff like this, very good work indeed

              reminds me of a UK Police Force last year
              they had SO MANY warants outstanding in their force, (Midlands I think) that it was just plain embarassing, there was nobody to take these warrants on

              so they posted off 100 fake letters to the 100 wanted miscreants, advising them all that they HAD "won"... just go to XXXX shopping precinct on Saturday morning, between 9am and 1pm with this letter to claim your TV/stereo/DVD player ... you know various desirable home equipment

              so many of these wanted gits turned up with these letters, that the cops could not believe their luck and the PRESS lapped it up BIG TIME
              from your old mate
              c h i e f y
              global chiefy to yer seadog seafarin' maties

              Comment


              • #8
                Chiefy:
                We (as in the Met) have done similar things before who are wanted on warrant (you've won a prize/cruise etc etc)and I ve done it to get people to open doors when executing warrants etc.

                In relation to the DNA, I dont know if that ruse would be ruled as ethical, although I applaud the tactic wholeheartedly. Having said that, I would agree with Deputy that it is no different to informant use, or UC tactics really.
                'Trust no-one'

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                • #9
                  Who cares how they had to do it. This is no time to be thinking "what's fair?" They nabbed him and that's all that matters.
                  Dance like no one's watching -- Sing like no one's listening, and work like you don't need the money.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Angel,

                    quote:
                    Originally posted by AutumnAngel:
                    Who cares how they had to do it. This is no time to be thinking "what's fair?" They nabbed him and that's all that matters.

                    As long as the means were constitutional, and it doesn't violate due process. The BOR cannot be compromised for anyone!

                    [ 05-30-2003, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: retired ]
                    Retired

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                    • #11
                      First, ditto to what retired said.
                      Chiefy makes a good point about needing another sample to compare but they may have enough PC to get a search warrant for that one. However, what if the guy said someone else licked and sent the envelope back for him. Pretty thin I'll grant you...but it's just one more consideration.

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                      • #12
                        Great Idea whoever thought of it!!!!

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                        • #13
                          quote:
                          Who cares how they had to do it.
                          See what Retired said.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Great Idea whoever thought of it!!!! Wont they have PC though once they match it up with the one from the crime scene and that will give them the PC for the actual request from the bad guy

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