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Law Enforcement (a Judicial Issue)


There are many individuals who have high ethical standards and who would never intentionally break the law, even if no one could catch them. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who will continue to break the law until someone does catch them and puts them away.

The police, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies are needed to catch those individuals who do not obey our laws. Their job is a tough one since the criminals do not want to be caught and the innocent do not always want to help. There are some changes to our laws and to police procedures that could make law enforcement easier and our world safer.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

In our legal system we claim to have the concept of innocent until proven guilty. That is, we believe that we should treat individuals as being innocent of a crime until they have been found guilty of the crime. If we really did treat individuals as being innocent, then we would not even investigate them. However, this is contrary to how things really work. What we really have is the concept of suspicion of guilt. That is, we treat individuals as being along a spectrum from suspect to guilty or innocent.

We need to make it clear that we have a separate category of suspect and not just the innocent and guilty categories. If we do that, it is easier to treat suspects differently so that we can investigate them properly. Therefore, a better concept would be to use a probability of innocence or guilt that would be based on the preponderance of evidence.

The higher an individual’s probability of guilt was, or the lower an individual’s probability of innocence was, then the more latitude we should give law enforcement to investigate the individual and the more the courts should be allowed to restrict the individual’s movements and speech. However, we should never hinder anyone’s honest ability to defend themselves.

Statute of Limitations

When a criminal is not caught within a certain time frame, a statute of limitations may have run out on their crime and the criminal can no longer be brought to justice. The reasons for statutes of limitations include the fact that over time memories fade, evidence is lost or never found, and that individuals prefer to get on with their lives without legal intrusions from the past. In addition, it is often a waste of time to continue pursuing crimes when their trails have run cold and other crimes need to be investigated. A problem with this is that way too many criminals end up being allowed to get away with their crimes.

Instead of preventing prosecution, I would change the meaning of the statutes of limitations, so that everyone simply has more flexibility in how to proceed after the time has run out. For instance, law enforcement would not be required to investigate, witnesses would not be required to testify, the prosecutor would not be required to prosecute, and criminals might have the option to make proper restitution to avoid prosecution. In this way, if new evidence does come to light and witnesses are willing to testify, then we could still prosecute the suspect.


As citizens of our country, we are granted certain constitutional rights and in turn we have certain civic duties. Some of the things that we consider civic duties should really be considered obligations of citizenship. Therefore, our rights as citizens are derived from our agreement to obey our country’s laws. This means that we have an implied contract between each citizen and every other citizen that we will obey our laws in exchange for our citizenship rights.

Since our rights as citizens are derived from this contract, law breakers can be considered to have violated and in turn broken this contract and should lose an appropriate portion of their rights. For instance, criminals can lose their right to freedom and can be sent to prison. Only when someone agrees to honor our citizenship agreement and obey our laws, should we restore his or her rights.


When it comes to criminal matters, we should all be required to talk to law enforcement officials. How can law enforcement officers solve crimes when we do not answer relevant questions? When innocent individuals refuse to answer relevant questions, it is especially hard for law enforcement to find the guilty party, since they may be forced to waste time checking out the innocent when they could have moved on to other suspects.

If witnesses and suspects are required to answer relevant questions, then their stories can be checked out, and confirmed or refuted. For those individuals who are embarrassed by something in their answers, they should be able to ask to have those answers sealed to all but those who have an absolute necessity to know. When someone feels that a question is not relevant, procedures should be in place to get a prompt ruling from a judge.

Law Enforcement Misconduct

Although law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold the law, some still commit crimes. Worse is the fact that there is often a blue wall that comes up where other law enforcement officers will protect those enforcement officers that commit crimes.

Let’s be clear. Any law enforcement officer that commits a crime is a criminal and should be treated as such. Any law enforcement officer who protects a criminal, even one who has a badge, is also a criminal and should also be treated as such.

Therefore, if law enforcement officers want to have a blue wall, that blue wall should come up around the honest ones and leave the dishonest ones out where they can be held accountable. Honest law enforcement officers should be going after the dishonest ones just as they should be going after any other criminal.

Next Section

Courts and Court Officers - How to improve our Courts so that justice will be better served.

Last Updated:
Saturday, February 03, 2024
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