To put the cart before the horse

De kar voor het paard spannen

to do things in the wrong order or sequence
to do something in wrong manner
reverse the right method of doing something


Example Sentences

  1. Aren’t you putting the cart before the horse in decorating your new office? You haven’t even been awarded the job yet.
  2. Don’t put the cart before the horse by investing in a new shop before selling that old one situated in west of the city.
  3. By waking up late at night and sleeping all day long. Why are you putting the cart before the horse?
  4. I think you are putting the cart before the horse by leaving your permanent job before getting new one.

Michael Morton

Central Park Five

Current page

A strange twist

Row short oars

Unfair assistance


A conviction and no-crime is putting the cart before the horse

In other words, shoot first and then draw the rose.
M.a.w. eerst schieten en dan de roos tekenen.

1 No-Crime Wrongful Convictions | Jessica Henry | TEDxButler

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8 dec. 2021

The popular image of a wrongful conviction is that of an innocent person wrongly convicted of a crime committed by someone else. But what if I told you that over one-third of all people who have been exonerated were wrongly convicted of crimes that never happened in the first place. Jessica S. Henry is an award-winning author, professor, legal commentator, social justice advocate, and blogger. After obtaining her J.D. from N.Y.U. School of Law, Henry served as a public defender in New York City for nearly a decade. Her new book, “Smoke But No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened,” won the 2020 Montaigne Medal award for most thought-provoking book and the INDIE forward Book of the Year Award (Silver, Political and Social Science). She also was the recipient of the First Horizon Award for superior work by a debut author. Henry’s research and teaching focus on wrongful convictions and severe sentences, such as the death penalty and life without parole. Henry frequently appears as a commentator about criminal justice and the criminal legal system on national and local television and radio, and is widely cited in the mainstream media. In 2015, Henry received the Montclair State University Distinguished Teacher Award for excellence in teaching. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Wrongful Convictions: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

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7 mrt. 2022

John Oliver explains why it’s so difficult to be exonerated for a wrongful conviction, even when there’s compelling evidence to prove your innocence, and how we can correct the state’s mistakes.
M Murase
There are people in this country who believe that if someone goes to prison, they must have done something wrong. These people think they’ll never be wrongly convicted, and one person in particular seemed so invested in both these ideas that she wouldn’t entertain the possibility at all. She kept saying, “I’m not doing anything wrong,” as though she knows every single law on the books and lives to avoid every possible criminal act (which is patently impossible).
Prosecutorial misconduct should be a felony, and in a death penalty case it should be a murder charge
I don’t know who said this but I think this sentiment is correct: “The US doesn’t have a justice system, it has a legal system.”
Kai Does Art
In 2010 I was arrested for a murder my mother commited. I was picked up after school and told someone wanted to talk to me about her case at the station. I was never told miranda rights or cuffed or actually arrested at all. At the station I all of a sudden was booked and when I asked why they didnt answer me. The next day I was told there was a warrent for my arrest but they would not tell me what my charge was. Over a week later I finally had an initial appearence and it wasnt until then I was told I was charged with murder and a grand jury had already met to vote whether or not to pursue the death penalty. Let me emphasize 12 people talked about whether or not I should die BEFORE I even knew what I was charged with. I fought as hard as I could and was held in county jail for over a year before ever being convicted or sentenced to anything. I turned down every plea deal because I didnt do it. Finally a prosecutor came to visit me without my lawyer and said if I take this to trial theyre trying me for accessory because my mom already said I did it and would even testify against me to get a shorter sentence for herself, but if I took a plea deal for assault Id be guarenteed to be released within a couple years. Admitting to an assault I never commited just so I could go home went against everything I believed in, but I had already been in jail for 14 months at that point. I asked to talk to my lawyer first and he outright said if I didnt sign it then the plea deal was off the table completely. I missed my brother and sister so much and just wanted to go home and so I signed it. I was sentenced 18 months with time served so after 4 months in prison I was finally able to go home. But a viloent felony will be on my record forever and has greatly affected my life. I was only 18 and never did it but was bullied into saying I did. If that doesnt show how broken the judicial system is, I dont know what will.
Meer tonen
Fun fact: The DA who sought the death penalty for Maria Lucio was later convicted of taking bribes and corruption and is currently serving 14 years.
Creepy Stares
When cops are allowed to lie, forcing confessions with their emotional words, it isn’t justice. It’s coersion.
Christian Schoff
I am straight up crying. What a waste of an existence that prosecutor is.
Marissa Armas
My Dad has been serving a sentence for a wrongful conviction for the past 8 years. It’s a 25 year sentence with no chance for early release. We have about exhausted every legal avenue we have to overturn the decision. It’s tiring, it drains your hope, it pulls at your family, it puts you in debt. Not a day goes by that I wouldn’t give everything to change things. To other families out there – you aren’t alone. Which in its own way also sucks… this has no silver lining
The DA responsible for Maria Lucio’s conviction was convicted himself: “On Feb. 11, 2014, Villalobos was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for his role in a bribery and extortion scheme. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, jurors in Villalobos’ trial found that he solicited and accepted over $100,000 in bribes and kickbacks in the form of cash and campaign contributions in return for favorable acts of prosecutorial discretion.”
“Are you a cold blooded killer, or a frustrated mother?” Proof that police are not your friend. You may think they are, but you’ll realize they aren’t when they pressure you to admit to something you haven’t done. A drunk driver caused me to crash in to a guard rail, and when the police brought me in for questioning, they asked leading questions for if I had gone down a certain road that I didn’t even know the location of, and hit a parked car because the mark on that was the same color as the car I was driving at the time. Leading questions like if I didn’t remember it, if I was trying to hide that I did it, or flat out blaming me for it by stating “we know you hit something, and we’re pretty sure it was this car.” Or “we know you’re lying.” Even though the damage on the vehicle I drove clearly aligned with hitting a guard rail, they were trying to trick or force me in to confessing. And for those of you who still think police are your friend, that’s because you’ve never had to deal with them on the opposing side of things. You can do nothing wrong, and still end up with the blame, and they will do everything they can to make you guilty. They will make you uncomfortable with their questions, and the environment, making cold and causing you to go to a tighter posture and shiver, making it seem like you’re scared and hiding something. Or making it warm and humid, so you sweat and look suspicious. If you haven’t been interrogated by the police, you will never understand that they are not your friend.
Meer tonen
Nicholas Hartle
“We all make mistakes.” It’d be nice if the justice system actually followed that.
Not Quite Sane
“The state fought to keep him locked up” If that isn’t proof of institutional slavery being weaponized in the form of incarceration then I don’t know what is.
Long story short: we should always be infinitely more willing to risk letting a guilty man go free than to risk letting an innocent man be punished…because if we let an innocent man be punished, we’ve still let a guilty man go free.
Alberto Perez' Smorgasong
This can be abridged in one sentence: “the US justice system is a freakin’ joke… if it wasn’t really tragic”
Hosseyn Shanbeh Zaadeh
That “you fucking asshole” was one of the best things I’ve ever heard. I hope that woman finds justice. I hope no innocent person – or no person at all – get executed. Lots of love from Iran.
Sam Lienhard
it feels like the (actual) witch hunt argument of “if we’re wrong, the person we just killed will go to heaven so its fine” is still alive and well for some people
The fact that we even still have a death penalty in this country is appalling. Plus we have a long history of railroading innocent people into prison. We have to face the fact that our criminal justice system is a joke. Reforms must be made NOW!
Just Us
In the case of Lucio, who’s on death row for the murder of her daughter, 2 year old Mariah, who’s cause of death was established by her falling down a flight of stairs. The Appeals Court already ruled “the death caused by an injury cannot lead to a Capital offense”. The State argued against life in prison because they stated Lucio was fighting in the general population, her defense brought up that the extent of her fight was her(Lucio) getting punched, trying to block punches, or being hit by other inmates, she wasn’t the aggressor in the attacks. Lucio was also pregnant with twins when they first interrogated her, she gave up her children for adoption during these 15 years of being on death row.
Meer tonen
If you are ever questioned by the police you should only know one word: “lawyer.”
Unless you say “I want my lawyer” or “I choose to remain silent” the cops will hound and badger you until they get what they want from you to make the footwork and paperwork for them minimal.
Alex Milak
Prosecutorial misconduct should be a felony, and in a death penalty case it should be a murder charge
tony baloney
I’ve spent 14 yrs in the prison system and know for a fact how totally bonkers our system is. I was guilty and have no bones about it, but I met plenty of others that should have never been arrested, much less convicted of a crime. My job was to go to death row twice a day and take orders for the prison store. I met everyone on death row at the time in NC, 1974_1976 , some were innocent, some truly insane and others really ,really needed to be locked up. No one was ever executed during that time and all had their sentences changed to life without due to the unfairness of the sentencing laws. Im not a shrink, but when I see a man everyday that sits on his toilet and holds court over his kingdom or a young kid,18, who tortured and killed his own father because he knew the where abouts of a great space computer that was controlling an invasion from outer space ( who believes to this day he saved mankind from extinction), I believe they are insane. Because the kid knew it was a knife in his hand and not a banana, he was sane to the legal system. Granted the DA said if he truly believed that he should have gone to the police,,he told his grandmother 👵 instead, who told him he was a big boy and to handle it.
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Sean Jarrell
“You’re basically saying we should retrial cases every 15-17 years” That… That sounds like a great idea actually.
Drake Daraitis
My first arrest went a lot like the “whole story one clip” thing. It was absolutely horrifying. Definitely gave me some PTSD.
“I would like a lawyer, please” are words that can save your life. Remember them & use them if you are ever in a situation as Melissa was.
Jevante smith
This one made me sick to my stomach. The fact that a punishment so extreme could be overturned by something as simple as speaking to one person or looking at the actual evidence can be totally justified because “I don’t wanna” makes me want to cry.
Notice how they gave Maria that effed up false dichotomy? “Either you’re a cold-blooded killer or a frustrated mother.” Both options assume that she was responsible for the death of her daughter, with one being the “reasonable, understandable” option. That interview tactic by the cops is incredibly common. Just about every police interview I’ve ever seen (used to watch them for my job) has been this level of automatically accusatory; whether they’re interviewing a potential suspect or just a witness. It’s so disgusting.
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Suraj Ankam
John Oliver has been doing a great job of educating everyone about these major issues in the society. I want to see some data around, if any of the issues he highlighted have gotten any better since his video. Maybe he can cover this sometime
Oren Katznelson
It is admirable that John Oliver sees so many wrongs and yet he immigrated and uses his talent to try to fix things from within (despite the little chance that he can make a difference, but at least these wrongs get exposure). Many people would just stay away.
Fauler Perfektionist
Whatever else we do, we need to divest ourselves of this notion that the death penalty is justice.
Taylor Rae
The story at the end just breaks my heart. Admitting to spanking your child prior to a violent incident is NOT a murder confession.
How can someone who is literally inside a sheriff’s office when murders took place be convicted of the crime? Insanity.
Nerd Made
This episode hits a lot harder knowing that someone is almost certainly going to be murdered next month because of our terrible court system.
Jermel Purse
Sadly we have a criminal justice system that’s just focused on convictions. Consider the fact that many prosecutors in America are elected and one of the most electable concepts especially for someone who’s already in office or has been in office is there a conviction rate. So we have an elected prosecutors scrambling to get people convicted because hi convention ratings are what sell to voters. You don’t want a conviction rating that’s anywhere near 90% you want something close to 100% even though we know the system is broken we don’t think about that even as voters until we find ourselves facing prosecution then things change. We know time and time again innocent people are jailed and killed executed but our focus is always on the system continuing to run and convictions. Even judges that run for office focus on convictions because there’s nothing like an opponent standing up and saying you let that person get away with it. I look at how we allowed personal identification to be the gold standard when it came to prosecution certain convictions we knew for a fact that a persons testimony regarding the visual record of a crime just wasn’t accurate when it came to identifying the person who might’ve committed the crime against them we knew it for a fact yet we allowed it to persist it’s still persists. We’ve seen women tragically raped and identify the man they knew as the rapist 100% guaranteed only to be told it’s not him DNA doesn’t match and they would still say no that’s the face I remember. We would still prosecute the person and convict the person but we knew they were innocent. DNA comes along and says this person didn’t do it even the victim of the crime would never relent so the prosecutor couldn’t relent the judge couldn’t relent. The people the voters wouldn’t relent forget it that person was convicted send them to jail it’s not me I don’t have to worry about it.
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Dustin Sims
Hellacious timing on this one John Oliver. As I myself have a plea Hearing in the morning at 9 a.m., where because of an incompetent court-appointed attorney I’m going to accept the states offer. In front of the same judge who signed the bogus warrant.
I am straight up crying. What a waste of an existence that prosecutor is.
Besides the old “you’re screwed if you’re poor/you’re fine if you’re rich” thing, the other problem is the USA’s hysteria about crime. Most Americans are always convinced we’re drowning in a bloody wave of violent crime, even while it’s been dropping for decades, and that we have to punish people ruthlessly to stop it, and that if the cops picked you up, you’re probably guilty. This leads to “soft on crime” being one of the worst accusations you can throw at a political candidate (including judges, who are elected in many places… that’s another problem). I suspect there a lot of people who if they’re honest, think it’s fine to execute or imprison for life some innocent people, to be sure we don’t let guilty ones go, and that’s just the price we have to pay to protect ourselves. Hysteria from the media and politicians over violent crime bears a big part of the blame for this situation.
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Leah Vogel
Everyone needs to remember this one phrase anytime you’re interacting with the police: I want to speak to my lawyer & don’t say anything until u speak with a lawyer
Sometimes it’s really difficult to watch these things. I cried a little at learning of this woman’s plight and the callous belief of that prosecutor. I wish for her to get an extension and some true justice come to all those involved
It’s heartbreaking.
How can someone who is literally inside a sheriff’s office when murders took place be convicted of the crime? Insanity.
corey williams
in college I was given a project to argue against the death penalty and I told my professor that I was for it, but was told to argue against it anyway. during my research I found dozens of cases of wrongful convictions and wrongfully executed individuals due to mishandled or poorly argued evidence by a public defender.
William Harvey
Holy shit, that forced confession is one of the most depraved things I’ve ever seen. I’m speaking as somebody who doesn’t know what it’s like for my daughter to die, to be forced to confess to her “murder” in the same fucking night, and then wind up on death row for it, but that’s fucking Evil. This shit just can’t continue. That is one of the most psychologically and emotionally traumatic things imaginable, and the fact that she’ll be killed next month and our justice system is able, yet completely unwilling, to do shit about it is a fucking war crime. I commend that LastWeekTonight had the guts to talk about this stuff, and has so much compassion, and genuine care for human life our country can often neglect.
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Mohamed Salman
What shocks me… Is when some people say the American Legal System: “Is broken, but works”. If something is so badly broken then no amount of glue could fix it, and NO it most definitely doesn’t work.
G *O
I used to support the death penalty when I was young and now I understand how many horribly incorrect convictions there are with innocent people sitting in prison. In a country that chirps about the land of the free and justice for all, we need to make huge corrections in our justice system. It is VERY broken.
The one thing that every single parent needs to teach their kids is that cops are not to be trusted under any circumstances whatsoever. Having thin blue line merch and supporting cops is fine, but once you are on the other side of that table and they are interrogating you, they are not to be trusted and you need to lawyer up immediately. Don’t say a word to a cop until there is a lawyer present.
Gideon Goh
“You should understand that the greatest crimes are not crimes that go unsolved, but crimes that lay blame on the innocent. A case unsolved will always draw eyes. But a case solved with the wrong person blamed? That is a trifold sin – the crime itself, the escape of the guilty, and the injury of the innocent upon whom the blame falls.” Animosity: Evolution #4, by Marguerite Bennett and Eric Gapstur.
Nicole Schiller
It so nice starting the week with John’s happy 25 minutes, really gets you going
“What, should we retry cases every 17 years now too?” Umm… actually that sounds great! I mean obviously there are limitations on the system and resources and we should be careful about adding something like this when our current system is already so overloaded and poorly run but… Yes. People shouldn’t just be convicted then forgotten about.
19:24 Every time deranged murderer says “who’s fault is it?” he fucking smiles. As if he’s proud of that wrongful conviction.
Alex Hess
I like how that prosecutor at the end made the perfect case for his own murder. Maybe he shouldn’t be in the ground, but if he ends up there, wHo’S tO bLaMe bUt HiMsElF?
Grace Lloyd
omg that last prosecutor or judge whoever he was makes me sick to my stomach. I feel a little better since my bf and I signed the petitions for these poor wrongfully convicted people, especially that mother. I cried at her story.
“Guilty until proven rich or lucky” I can not think of a more succinct and accurate way to describe America’s legal system. Utterly real and unimaginably terrifying.
Aaron Neuhouser
“No fair-minded judge could possibly agree is a hugely high bar to clear.” right up until you get into big settlements against companies which have harmed workers/consumers/bystanders. Then the appeal judges can’t act fast enough to reduce the judgement.
worthogg films
I have one idea to work towards fixing things in the court: stop having the public defenders work for the district attorneys. Think about how ridiculous the system is; the person defending you is being paid by the person prosecuting you. How can that be fair? How is that not a conflict of interest? They should work for a ‘district defender’ to separate them from the prosecutors
Megan Burns
“Guilty until proven rich or lucky” a statement like that just stays with you holy shit
Ashlie Jones
I literally just got off probation for I crime I was bullied into confessing to. And while I was talking to the judge about my restitution being paid off the prosecutor interjected about trying to revoke my probation…which the judge had just said was over and done with…prosecuting attorney literally just wanted to send someone to jail.
All I can say to the people, please read into Melissa Lucio’s case. You will see how bad it was and how were the odds against her.
Ro G
Fun fact: The DA who sought the death penalty for Maria Melissa Lucio was later convicted of taking bribes and corruption and is currently serving 14 years. EDIT: To correct the name. My bad. High af sunday night.
Marina Jurema
If anyone is interested in some good books on this subject, I would HIGHLY suggest David R. Dow’s books or the book Courtroom 302, although the last one is not about wrongful convictions specifically, it is a really powerful book about just how dysfunctional and downright harmful the american legal system is.
Chengar Qordath
It feels weird to laugh at any of the jokes on such a grim story, but the alternative is crying or getting violently angry.
Casey McAchran
Yea gotta be honest, while I definitely don’t know all the fact about Mrs. Lucio’s case I will say it sure does seem like it exemplifies the Texas court system pretty well
feels like the overall mentality of the system is: as long as someone is found guilty and serves his sentence, its justice done. sentencing the right one, is just an extra bonus
Terrence Alford
Just when I think I understand just how systematically classist and racist our judicial system I learn something more egregious about it and am more repulsed 🤬
This episode underlines several reasons why I am against the death penalty. There are others too, but this covers several of the big ones.
du vide
That story about Melissa Lucio made me violently angry, more so than watching John destroy any residual faith in humanity i had left than anything else ever has.
Jian Manarpiis
You can just feel John Oliver’s frustration on America’s legal system when he has to discuss the broken judicial system US has.
Jack Balbes
11:12 If I was this judge, I would have immediately dismissed all charges to the defendant, and found that prosecutor guilty of attempted murder.
And all of this doesn’t even address the fact that appeals take YEARS. When I was convicted and incarcerated, it took three and a half years to get a decision on that appeal, during which time I was locked up like anyone else who’d been convicted of a felony. And even with that decision, I wasn’t free and clear. They almost never just toss your case out, instead they send you back to county jail and have you go through the trial process all over again, which in itself can take even more years. In the end, I did 7 years in prison, and while not all of my charges were overturned, the one charge that stuck should have only seen me locked up for 2-4 years. And that’s a case where the system actually WORKED! I am very much in the minority in this. I can’t even tell you how many guys I knew on the inside who had their appeals tossed out by the courts without even a cursory review. I knew one guy who was locked up for child rape, who had actual physical proof that the accusation against him was a lie (medical examination showed that the girl had an intact hymen and no sign of any other sexual contact or physical trauma, and this exam was done less than 24 hours after she claimed she was beaten bloody and violently raped), and the courts didn’t care. He’s still serving a life sentence.
Meer tonen
Know your rights. Spot on John. I have personal experience with a lying prosecutor.
Dorvell Stewart
I keep thinking about what Iowa’s governor, Kim Reynolds, said last week in response to President Biden‘s State of the Union address about “liberal prosecutors setting too many people free“ or something similar. Are there people who should never see the light of day again? Yes but surely, surely we can all agree that if evidence proves someone has been incarcerated for a crime they never committed, that person should be released? Obviously that’s wishful thinking, but…
Meer tonen
I would like to add that in cases where an arrest was found to be unsupported by law and evidence, that said arrest be expunged from the person’s record. Otherwise it follows them around for the rest of their life, blocking job opportunities and housing access, as well as psychological burdens. Also, NEVER talk to the police without a lawyer. They are trained to lie and intimidate to get you to admit to crimes.
Thomas Bohn
I remember reading about the case of Amanda Knox who was convicted and later exonerated by the Italian courts. One journalist pointed out that this would have been impossible in her home state of Washington.
Winter S.
This is so important and I am so glad he did a segment on this. I have argued so many times with people who swear that there cannot possibly be a ton of innocent people behind bars. It is usually in regards to arguing against the death penalty, because my argument was that in an imperfect system, no one’s life should be taken. I have quoted the number of death row exonerations there have been, and pointed out that those are just the ones who were lucky enough to have DNA available to exonerate them. I shudder to think the number of innocent people who have been killed by the government and to me, that is the most egregious of crimes for which there is no recompense. Too many people have the luxury of believing that arrest/indictment/conviction = guilt and they can’t wrap their minds around the concept that what they know of our justice and legal systems are wrong. Let us also not forget that most of these death row exonerations are of blacks and it makes you understand that the reasons why DA’s push so hard to prevent retrials or to get appeals tossed on technicalities is to keep the narrative going about racial disparities in crime. And if most exonerations are of blacks, that also means most false convictions are wrong which means that the narrative they spin about how many crimes are committed by blacks vs whites is completely wrong. It just serves their purpose to keep pushing the “blacks are a smaller percentage of the population but commit a larger percentage of crimes” agenda, and having to admit to false convictions and exonerations and why blacks make up most of them would throw a monkey wrench into what they have pushed for decades.
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Robert Wagner
I grew up believing the US Judicial system was based on these 2 principles: 1. It is better a guilty person go free than a single innocent person go to jail. 2. Innocent until PROVEN guilty Apparently its more about DAs conviction rates and once someone is in jail (innocent or not) they are going to serve their sentence, up to and including being put to death.
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Amanda H
There are too many monsters in our “justice” system.
As I was watching this , that one Linkin Park song started playing in my head: ” You’re guilty all the same, too sick to be ashamed. You want to point your fingers but there’s no one else to blame”
Crunchy Carrotz
Guys, if the cops ever call you for an interrogation, hire a lawyer
Tek Sight
The DA responsible for Maria Lucio’s conviction was convicted himself: “On Feb. 11, 2014, Villalobos was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for his role in a bribery and extortion scheme. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, jurors in Villalobos’ trial found that he solicited and accepted over $100,000 in bribes and kickbacks in the form of cash and campaign contributions in return for favorable acts of prosecutorial discretion.”
This is why my mom always taught me growing up when cops talk to you they just want to arrest you invoke the 5th and ask for legal council
I want to talk about that interrogation recording at the end: this is classic Minimisation/Maximisation, where you maximise the stress of denying (“are you a cold blooded murderer”, “we know what happened”) while minimise the stress associated with confessing (“are you a frustrated mother?”, “I understand, I understand, I understand”). Here’s the thing: this is a hugely psychologically manipulative method that drastically (and I mean statistically significantly) increases the risk of falsely confessing. Oh, and I’m 95% sure this method is illegal on most EU countries [though I cannot say that I am certain] Fuck you Reid
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Jane Lain
Me when asked a routine question moving through event/airport/etc security:  “What IS a weapon really? Maybe I do have something sharp in my backpack? A safety pin could be used a weapon, technically…”  looks so nervous and suspicious they have to further inspect me even though I definitely don’t have anything resembling a weapon other people: I would NEVER admit to something I didn’t do when pressed lol
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𝔸 ℂ𝕒𝕝𝕒𝕞1𝕥𝕪
Glad to see John’s at #1 on trending. Keep up the good work, dude!
The current standards are absurd. I would rather let thousands of criminals get away versus a single wrongful conviction. Wrongful convictions should be front page news, not commonplace
Saphira Sataria
Thank you again, I hope something can save that woman from this wretched legal system.
James Rode
We need a rightful conviction of these judges and attorneys of being sociopaths that should be locked away.
Daron H.
Admitting that they convicted the wrong person would show that our justice system is flawed, and we can’t have that now, can we? 🙄
Yup, sat in on a plea bargain for a man who hurt my baby nephew. Both the prosecution and defense told the judge that justice wasn’t possible in a non-murder trial due to the court system being overwhelmed, so a plea bargain was the best they could do.
Unstoppable Zone
“Justice in America’….is an oxymoron. God help anyone who gets railroaded by prosecutors eager to make a name for themselves, regardless of the costs to a defendant. Our so-called ‘justice’ system is utterly broken and a national disgrace.
I say, as an abused child of my congenital parents, born and raised by them, that the moment we take the power of life and death from the parent, we risk the possibility of destroying the family as a foundation of social order
Joy Damiani
Firstly, this is a travesty and I’m glad you’re covering it. But – Larry Krasner was my attorney when I was assaulted by park rangers at the Liberty Bell in 2013, and not only did his representation lead to my own wrongful conviction (I was charged with assaulting them lol), but he took my money and then never spoke to me again after the trial (which he delayed three times and clearly resented me for forcing him to attend), and he never breathed a word to me about appeal. He was fine with it because he only cared about being DA, which he was already on track for. Please caution your viewers to be wary of even “progressive” attorneys. It could cost them a huge amount of time, money, and energy, and deeply impact their mental health.
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It’s heartbreaking. Every week we find out more about how the U.S.A. has failed its people. It’s really piling up.
Melissa Franklin
07:00 That is impressive questioning. Good on that journalist for his commitment.
Thanks a lot. What a depressing subject. It is impressing, though, how competent and detailed you explain every side of the subject.
Notice how they gave Maria that effed up false dichotomy? “Either you’re a cold-blooded killer or a frustrated mother.” Both options assume that she was responsible for the death of her daughter, with one being the “reasonable, understandable” option. That interview tactic by the cops is incredibly common. Just about every police interview I’ve ever seen (used to watch them for my job) has been this level of automatically accusatory; whether they’re interviewing a potential suspect or just a witness. It’s so disgusting.
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This is perhaps the first time John Oliver left us teary eyed.
Thomas Dunlap
To try to steel-man the whole “finality” argument: I could imagine a scenario where a legal firm is working on two cases and justifies putting fewer manhours into one of them because “It’s only their first trial. If we lose it we can always appeal.” In theory, the knowledge that “no, an appeal might actually be really difficult to obtain”, would encourage the defense to take every trial seriously.
Joseph Ehlers
“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin
Karen Ricketts
My question: in the justice system, who holds the judges accountable?
Something Something
“It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” – William Blackstone
M. M. Ali
WoW ! I had this video suggested to me after every video I watched I presume since it came out, and having watched it now I can say it wasn’t suggested enough times. That last story boils the blood in your most sluggish veins, and that Komodo Dragon prosecutor deserves to live with his disgusting, immoral, human excrement excuse of a self.
Of course they’d try to keep prisoners from stopping their execution; if someone is wrongfully convicted and gets to walk out the door, they can come back to bite them in the wallet, as opposed to simply killing them and refilling the spot for the next revenue bringer
Even if the people who get wrongfully convicted gets money, no amount of money can make up for lost time. Life is so unfair
Lisa M. Willson
There are people in this country who believe that if someone goes to prison, they must have done something wrong. These people think they’ll never be wrongly convicted, and one person in particular seemed so invested in both these ideas that she wouldn’t entertain the possibility at all. She kept saying, “I’m not doing anything wrong,” as though she knows every single law on the books and lives to avoid every possible criminal act (which is patently impossible).
Thank you for this. Very, very important to spread knowledge about this.
Well, those police “investigator/detective” got 1 thing right, she is indeed a frustrated mother. Frustrated towards the police that is. They don’t even bother to listen.
Silent Hunger
The system needs a conviction to prove that it works; innocent or guilty is a matter of money not justice.
genius of John Oliver to bury his furry confession in an extremely grim episode so nobody can discuss it in fear of appearing flippant about the primary topic
Ming Mongo
There’s people who can look at this horror show and say, “the system basically works, it just needs some reform.” Rip it up and start over.
I’m a filipino and I remember there was a filipino that was wrongfully convicted for murder in texas in the 90’s and was sentenced to death. The problem is he didn’t know he was sentenced to death as this person doesn’t speak nor understood full English. Until the time he was going to the lethal injection he keep on saying “makakauwi ba ko sa pilipinas?” (can I still go back to the Philippines?) Unfortunately he died and the victims family still believe he was the killer even though he wasn’t and no motive and he has an alibi for this.
Mike Curtin
I’ve also heard it expressed as, “Innocent until proven broke.” This explains a lot. Thanks for this.
5 Minute Calms
This is so important. Hope they fix this quickly and the innocent are saved.
On a related note, everyone should watch the PBS Frontline episode “The Confessions” to see how much our legal system is screwed up. Or listen to the audio podcast. It is 10 years old but still worth watching.
Anderson E. Luís
The more one learns about the legal system, the more sickening it is. At this point it seems like a mostly failed institution
Ricky Poole
I’m glad he called out my fellow Texans who, again and again, vote for exactly this to happen. They want it to happen. If conservative voters were capable of behaving like human beings then they wouldn’t be conservative voters.
i was security for a death penalty appeal from a crime 33 years ago. he’s currently arguing it was never proven she was alive when he tortured her. it’s growing in popularity to appeal and argue it was all post mortem actions on his part.
If anyone wants to help with this matter please consider donating to the “Witness to Innocence” non profit. Or, perhaps getting to know their work helping victims of wrongful convictions
Ultimate decision- over shell, because wearing them under the shell implies that the shell can be removed, which will actually kill the turtle. You can’t even use nail polish remover without causing permanent damage. Over shell for the win.
Dr. Debajyoti Bose
I can only imagine the mental toll this show takes on John Oliver and the team, pretty heavy stuff this.
Even if the people who get wrongfully convicted gets money, no amount of money can make up for lost time. Life is so unfair
I tried to reason with the police my entire life, but no question, I would add to the suggestion say nothing ever, to get ahead of the 8 ball, not only hire, but make friends with a lawyer if you can. More important than a primary care physician. Just hand the policeman asking you questions his or her card and say give him a call, we’re done.
I really dont know how anyone in that stage or showroom could actually cheer or laugh after hearing the story of Melisa Lusio. That just horrible what happen to her and no one should ever have to suffer like that. I really hope she can get out in the end.
Box King Kevin
That’s extremely heartbreaking.. so many stories. So many people. Losing your own daughter, holding her in your arms, you call for help, and they just manipulate you into saying you killed your kid when you clearly know you didn’t? She’s already grieving losing her daughter then you want to force her to lie about murder? Badgering her to confess to something she never did? This is sick. This is the America that we’re supposed to fight for? Be patriotic for? Give our lives for in service to the army or navy or whatever else? This is America. This is our story. It’s absolutely disgusting and infuriating to still live in these cave man times even with all that our ancestors gave us. What a waste. Especially knowing she’ll be dead in a month to something she’s still hurting over. Something she never did. That man in jail for being wronged and then having the killer actually admit he felt bad someone else is in jail for his crimes? A man saying it’s okay to kill the innocent even with proof they didn’t commit the crime? I hate our country. I’m an American born, yes. But this country is not the lies we tell the world we are. We glitter our country so much in pretty decorative words to make the world feel like we’re free but we’re not. We’re held hostage by the legal system, not the justice system. There is no justice. There is only legal action which in turn means the wrong actions with proof stacked against the odds. This is insane.
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Beth Barnett
It seems like impartiality is more of a possibility than a guarantee at this point in time. Where is the balance between truth and fairness? Ridiculous. I seriously hope Texas does not go through with the execution of Melissa Lucio. I sent an email to the White House through their website. I’ve never done that, not sure if anyone there will care but someone needs to help her get this broken system to give her a fair chance to prove her innocence. The system put in place to protect us, has completely failed her.
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This is what happens when the judicial system is entangled with capitalism.
Yo Yo
Jeff Deskovic. Was in prison since 16. Got out at 33. Saved 10 lives as a lawyer so far. A true hero.
It’s weird seeing Biden move around that much and speaking coherent sentences. Amazing
23:23 Hermosa elección 😘 Lopeme.Uno de los mejores conciertos ❤ 23:23 Senada: “Hermoso” 23:23 Megan: “Hotter” 23:23 Hopi: “Sweeter” 23:23 Joonie: “Cooler” 23:23 Yoongi: “Butter” 23:23 Amor: “Momentos” 23:23 Alfiora: “Preety” 23:23 Alana: “Awesome” 23:23 Son unos de los mejores conciertos, no puede ir pero de tan solo verlos desde pantalla, se que estuvo sorprendente 🖤.
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I am surprised that interviewer didn’t punch that prosecutor in the face, when he blamed her for something he did.
Just when you think there’s not going to be another example of the sh*t that’s going on in this country after watching every episode of Last Week Tonight, this show manages to top itself in the next episode! Thanks for covering the horrendous flaws within our system in every episode. My heart is often so heavy after watching an episode, but truth must be told. We must always strive to make a better country even if it takes many many decades.
Mubashar Hafeez
He should have mentioned Josh Dublin who is actually fighting for Melissa Lucio and many others when it comes to wrongful convictions.
Every Da and every Judge involved into such an obviously wrongful death row conviction should be charged with murder.
Nic Halabicky
Boy, if you want something new to be mad about every Monday, John has you covered
Reminds me of a lesson at Premier Boys State, they used the example of John Wayne Gacy and polled the room for who thought he deserved the appeals most felt he didn’t. Then they had us pretend to be out on a Friday night drinking, illegally since we were all high schoolers, with friends recall meeting a girl at a party and a few other things but the next morning we wake up hungover and go to out part time job where police come in and arrest us at gun point, slamming us against a wall to cuff us in front of our coworkers, taking us to the PD and booking us on capital murder charges and losing the case after being vilified for underage drinking, having no alibi due to our friends having also been drunk, having a cell mate in the jail testify falsely against us, and then they polled the room who felt appeals were important, the results changed dramatically and the story was also based on a real court case in that state where the person was wrongfully executed.
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Okay gotta admit this is my first time watching this show. And as someone who knew about all this already and followed a lot of these cases I am floored that real journalism is happening. I just checked and its won an Emmy 4 years in a row. Well deserved.
Rene von Starnberg
As a former criminal defense lawyer, I can verify the accuracy of most of this video, except that there’s a difference between an appeal and a post-conviction challenge. Part of the reason post-conviction relief is so narrow, at least in theory, is that the initial appeal is supposed to catch miscarriages of justice. (It doesn’t.) If you ever get convicted of a crime, don’t think you have a year to appeal. You only have a week or two to complete the first steps. (The court, on the other hand, has no time limit. One of my clients waited seven years for the court to rule on his appeal.)
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easybreezysneezy covergirl
At the beginning of February, I hade a mental break with reality and asked my neighbor to call an ambulance or take me to the hospital. I was arrested, held in a concrete room where the lights didn’t turn off for 5 days, and had to sleep in the underwear I wet myself in my very first day. I’m still dealing with court dates now. They threw me to the ground, cuffed me, stuck a knee in my gut so I couldn’t breathe, and tased me. While tasing me, one guy shoved me into the other guy, and I accidentally bit him. I could feel my jaws clenching with the zaps of the taser. They were screaming I drew blood, but it was from the cuffs on my wrists. Happened in Oklahoma.
Sterling Mullett
I don’t know who said this but I think this sentiment is correct: “The US doesn’t have a justice system, it has a legal system.”
Icecream Maker
Wow. This was very informative as usual. Yougo, J.O!
Sarah Clegg
my brother is currently in prison for a wrongful conviction in missouri. He is serving a life sentence, and they did not do any dna testing. they did not call witnesses who were there. they arrested him and immediately he was treated as guilty. i cant talk to many people about the fact that he is in prison because they automatically assume he is guilty and a horrible person. he’s served 4 years so far. he missed my wedding. it feels like a nightmare that will never end. thank you for bringing awareness to this issue, and fuck everyone who fights to keep innocent people in prison
Any prosector/judge who knowing keeps an innocent person in prison should be automatically disbarred.
Don Chaput
Not to mention people who are fearmongered into taking plea deals rather than going to court for this exact reason. Do you risk a huge sentence to try to prove yourself in court or just take the plea deal and get it over with. Many take the plea deal even though it should have gone to trial, the risk is too great. Some counties even require you to get a lawyer from THIER county that the COURT APPROVES OF. Those courts can also deny those lawyers from working in their county. Super Fair and Just. I believe Oklahoma and Texas rank the absolute worst in court corruption.
Adam D.
Lmao I’ll never forget the time my name was called and my public defender stood up and walked out, not even knowing I was his client.
I got innocently convicted last year. It was just a minor charge I could pay off with a fine and it happened in Germany, not the US. But ever since I really have a huge fear of the legal system. I wasnt naive before, but only now have I realized how fucked up courts really are and how there’s little to no guarantee that anyone gives a fuck about the consitution, the evidence et cetera. I could be charged with murder or terrorism and be convicted without a single piece of evidence. And that’s really terrifying.
Who gave John Oliver a golden gavel? WELL DONE & BLESS YOUR HEART ❣ John, you continue to shed a light on difficult subjects in ways that educate and entertain. Wish you and your writing team could write the schoolbooks and provide required reading lists to every school & college in this country (and that includes vocational & technical institutes, seminaries, and online programs too). Heck, make it the whole world.
The Immortal Sun-kun
Hearing that the innocent mother is being executed next month made me tear up. What the fuck…
Yep. I was one of those wrongfully convicted (sort of). Its a long story, but after fighting a case for 2 years (from jail) the prosecutor offered me 2 years so i signed the papers to get out. Otherwise i would have spent another year in jail waiting for trial (which i would have won without effort).
The Glorious Champion of all that is Good and Just
There really should be more consequences built into the system for people like the “all motions dismissed” judge. Like, ANY consequences would be nice…
Shawn Scott
I was almost railroaded. I lost my job and had to cash out my retirement just to pay for my attorney. I literally had to start over.
The last 3 weeks have been grade A episodes. Happy to see LWT making great content again.
“Are you a cold-blooded killer or a frustrated mother? I’m asking did you kill your child or did you kill your child? There are no other options.”
Ro G
Me: “Man what a depressing week.” 😢 John: “Our main story….” Me: 😭
Artem Bentsionov
It’s a system that rewards high conviction rates for prosecutors and judges. And people like seeing someone punished, even if that person might be innocent
Derek Krumel
there are some truly gruesome ghouls in this one. How do we bring these corrupt judges and AGs to justice for their crimes against the people?
Kaden James
I still can’t believe they let Steve Harvey be a TV judge. Edit: after watching the episode, I think Steve may be one of the best people working in the field of law. Holy shit.
And we’ll never elect anyone willing to change this. This country deserves what’s coming to it.
Ro G
Maria Lucio had 14 children. None of them were allowed to testify or corroborate that she was abusive to the child who died. That maybe would have been something the jury would like to know.
hizzouse kakashi
It really sounds like every part of our system just needs to be razed to the roots.
Thabiso Goba
As a South African who has been watching the John Oliver show since forever, I’m always stunned at how messed up America’s institutions are. I dont think there is any democratic country where any person can be convicted to death (most democratic countries dont have capital punishment anymore) or life without hard evidence.
Those prosecutors and judges are monsters. Our legal system is literally terrifying.
Oscar Oscar
Keep speaking the truth John, I’m listening
Fauler Perfektionist
19:23 “She has nobody to blame but herself.” 🤦 There we go. It’s glaringly straightforward, so of course, we have to get it wrong.
R.J. Bedore
I know this is a serious topic, but I feel like John Oliver missed a perfect opportunity to say: “Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘wrongful termination,’ doesn’t it?”
Logical Juan
“Guilty until rich or lucky” Ah Capitalism, once again sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong.
Rhiannon Brown
In 2005 a job I had pulled me out of work saying that my criminal record had a conviction for drug possession on it. The supervisor I spoke to tried for about 30 minutes to make me confess that I left a conviction that I never had out of my info when applying for the job. I was suspended until I could prove that I didn’t do it. When I went home, the county clerk’s office pulled my file out and records for someone who had the same first name, a different last name, different birthday and different social security number were brought out. If I had been taken to court over something, I would never have known that this person’s information was in my file and it could have totally screwed me. Ultimately, I ended up having to go to a judge to prove who I was and have it removed. That person was convicted of possession when I was 8 years old.
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Shawn Bowman
Keep up the great work John.
No thanks to Oliver for making me tear about that poor mother who’s about to be killed within a month. There’s and old saying in Mexico: “a Mexican worst enemy is another Mexican”, and it applies more than ever before in the USA: In America, a Latino worse enemy is another Latino.
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Aaron Geisel — Rants & Reviews
Time for my weekly dose of Educational Happy Fun Depressing Time with John Oliver!
Matthew Arnold
That’s why parents need to have the talk with their children about interacting with the police. Especially if they’re being interrogated, you say one word, lawyer. Nothing more nothing less
there’s a point when john talks about melissa’s case where he almost cracks. where he just wants to go off script and express his true feelings about this, instead of keeping his cool as a journalist and pundit. i would not blame him one bit if he did.
This is why you do not want to ever talk with the cops, and you need to ensure that you invoke your right to silence (which must be positively asserted, courts have since stated that merely being silent does not indicate you have invoked your right), and demand a lawyer ASAP. Now, all of that said, the rest of this post was so wrong that I have removed it, and here is a correction: She _did not just confess to spanking the child_, but to severe and pervassive child abuse, including biting, breaking the daughter’s arm, and hitting the child hard enough to cause internal bruising. At her trial, the defense affirmatively argued that she had abused the daughter, but that she had not given any of the fatal head injuries. She did however also admit to refusing to bring the child to medical care earlier when the daughter was demonstrating brain trauma symptoms, because the extensive bruising of the child would quickly implicate her in child abuse.
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One of the fundamental problems with the justice system, is that the people in it aren’t trained to seek out justice or the truth, they’re trained to win arguments. Right or wrong don’t enter into it – the winner is right, even if he is wrong. On top of that, lawyers on both sides are then judged on the basis of how many cases they’ve won and lost, incentivizing them to care more about their “stats” than about actual justice being done, for the sake of their own career. Also, if it doesn’t strike you that every example of a wrongful conviction in this piece concerned a person of color, you should probably ask yourself why it doesn’t. Of course, given the fact that the for-profit US prison system essentially represents a form of legalized slavery, it makes some kind of twisted sense that the justice system is interested in putting young black men in jail and keeping them there. Privatisation of public institutions and services benefiting society and the individual is the biggest, most cynical lie neoliberalism ever told…
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Nelson Cheng
I can see how Oliver trying to make this as humorous as possible so that it doesn’t provoke hatred and other forms of extreme responses. I’m going to let the Spirit speak, Let God speak, see if not hating even the most egregious cruelty can still hurt life and our spirits.
George Balock
Another subject to consider is death by incarceration,the other death penalty.
Gopala Yalamanchili
I think this is the best episode he’s ever done
Каждый подписчик важен.
Dankoni vin, tre informa video.Mi ĝojos se ankaŭ vi venos al mia kanalo.
Zach Swaim
I think if anything, this doesn’t quite grasp the whole picture… YOU or ME or your Mom or mine could be convicted of a murder or crime they didn’t commit just because some judge wants to go home early or your attorney just happens to be incompetent. Then, you’ll never be able to hug them goodbye or help them receive justice for those same reasons. This is scary, and it should be to each and every one of us.
Calvin Koone
You should cover plea deals too. Presenting the option of being locked in a cage or saying you did something you didn’t to ensure you DEFINITELY were not locked in a cage isn’t really an option.
Robert Forster
I am surprised John didn’t bring up the wrongful execution of Ledell Lee in Arkansas where ,4 years after his execution, the DNA on the murder weapon turned out to belong to someone else. Gov. Ada Hutchinson said “He was convicted on the evidence they had at the time” and called this new evidence inconclusive, saying it only proves that Lee didn’t “act alone.” Also, Ledell Lee was an amazing person who showed great courage and integrity all the way up to his last words. I feel like he is being ignored.
11:40 And here I thought he was gonna say something like she’s been metaphorically dead inside ever since she bullied Charles into ordering Di’s death, but no, Johnny Allofher went full-on actually deceased joke. Bravo.
Max Headrom
Great video!!! This is high quality journalism !!!
Damn, how stupid would it feel to meet Your Maker, saying “I’m the 30time Emmy Award Winner, who just BARELY missed Armageddon” …
jessica corbin
Please please please, everyone, if you ever end up being interviewed by police ask for a lawyer. Guilt or innocence does not matter. The only thing you tell them is that you want a lawyer. You have that right and you are not required to talk to the police. Do not let anyone tell you differently.
i’m amazed none of these people are ever targeted with violence.
“Scarier than any criminal is an innocent man in chains, for when he breaks free, his revenge will be justified.” — Oriathan Proverb
McLane Travel
Another incredible episode. Oliver is a transplanted national treasure. Happy to have him!
John Ohkuma Thiel
A relatively minor example, but more common. I was hit by a car and permanently disabled about ten years ago. I had all kinds of disability insurance. The driver’s insurance fought tooth and nail to deny my claim, which included reconstructive surgeries on both knees, as well as surgeries to my right foot and spine; they lost of course, because I’m not an easy mark. But the State of New York, even a decade later, is still chasing after me about income tax they feel is due on my disability claim as if it was income from work for for my insurer, MetLife which likewise sought to deny my claim despite paying monthly premiums. In short, as an average worker, paying taxes as normal, no problem, ever. But as a disabled person they want every drop. How dare I make a disability claim instead of going back to work, untreated.
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Kyle Hurtgen
If feel that I’ve watched enough John Oliver to come to the conclusion that our world sucks. How can their be so much bullshit in the world?
Scarfy Conly
These episodes have been great so far! I am waiting for John Oliver to talk about The Great Resignation. I need to know what to do other than just “get a job with better pay and better benefits”. Its been like this for a year and a half. I’ve been waiting for you to do a show on it!
Steven Lopez
When you consider who the people at the “top” are, it isn’t hard to think what goes thru their head “one less trouble maker on the streets”
4Horsemen of The Apocalypse
20 years in Prison and you’re innocent, idk how this man kept his sanity. This country laws are so fucked up.
Alexander May
As always with many videos from John, my take away from this in the US: System is working as intended, it’s not about justice, it’s about suppression and sometimes money
Richard DeRatte
Guilty until proven rich or lucky? You know, I read that the Ace Attorney games were originally supposed to be criticizing the Japanese court system at the time, but as the series gets progressively more dumb and circumstantial, I’m beginning to think it’s one of the most accurate reflections of the American court system in all of gaming.
Lessly Carthan
I was forced into a fight in the Atlanta suburbs guy was interested in my co worker I escorted home on the rough side of Atlanta. She turned him down he felt I was in his way so he came down the stairs punched me in the mouth we got to fighting during the arrest I was charged with having a box cutter in my pocket it was broken and rusted I used for 4yrs.1998 I was charged with having a concealed weapon with intent to use was convicted 1yr state Georgia prison. During my chance for mail I was packed and sent 24hrs saying they had no room in the country I did 4 month’s in state prison for a charge that should have been 90 day’s county time served and a fine.somehow my file was lost because each state inmate is worth $62,000 a year in tax payer money that goes straight to private prison owner’s pockets. It’s all money your worth more inside than out
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The vehement reckless determination of US Prosecutors to get a conviction on a misdemeanor against me when I was innocent has much to the chagrin of many forced me to curse the ground mental health advocates walk on and join in police baiting left right and every other direction forever as hard as I can as my sole mission in life
In the back of my head, I swear I heard The Offspring singing: “I’m just a lawyer with low self esteem.”
You can call me Ana
It is quite clear, the system of criminal justice in this country, isn’t really interested in justice.
Thank you for once again enlightening people on this country’s barbaric injustice system.
Amira Unplugged
I feel like I’m going to cry listening to this. Innocence itself isn’t enough to be heard again in court- the absurdity. We need to rebuild the entire system
Sabre Leonheart
As the great, err, incompetent Cheif Wiggum says, “The law is powerless to help you.” arresting Marge “I thought you said the law was powerless to help me…” – Marge “The law is powerless to help you…… Not punish you.” – Wiggum
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Georgi Georgiev
I never realised how fundamentally fucked the system is and can be. It seems to take 100 good people to fix the problems arising from one morally bankrupt person.
Wynter Tyberghein
If you ever think “oh this law won’t affect me.” it will. It pertains to you and it will affect you.
Shato Nyruami
As long as DA´s remain an office you need to get elected for and your history of convictions is your best campaign ad, DA´s will always strife to convict, no matter if they got the right person. It´s like Macchiavelli said: Crime must be followed by punishment. The public demands that. If the punishment hits the person who actually committed the crime, it´s a bonus (not verbatim)
Winna Libert
Innocence will get you, just wow. How are we supposed to have ANY faith or even respect for such a system.
Joachim Schoder
Another argument to be made here: If you convict the wrong person it means the right person is still walking around. And since they already convicted somebody else they know that nobody is even looking for them anymore. And that is a pretty good incentive to commit more crimes. So even the people who don’t give a shit about the wrongfully convicted should have a personal interest to be sure that they got the right person.
“This guy’s a furry right? The clues are all there.” slowly remembers the fucking gold mine of clues
linda pastori
Prosecutorial misconduct should be a felony, and in a death penalty case it should be a murder charge
John Cameron
One day a few years ago my grandson died suddenly in his sleep. The coroner ruled it as a thing called SIDS. Anyway, that day I was extremely upset. My 18 month old grandson just died. I was driving and screaming at the sky and wrecked my car. I hit the Scott county magistrate’s fence and basically knocked 2 boards down to the ground. All a person had to do was pick them up and put them back on the posts. Anyway, a state trooper showed up and give me 2 field sobriety tests and I passed both. He let me use his cellphone to call my girlfriend to pick me up. Then the magistrate pulled up in his pick up truck. The trooper said “Wait here. This guy can cause me a lot of trouble.” I didn’t know it was the magistrate. He came back and arrested me for DUID without any tests or anything. Four years went by. I got 3 driving on suspended license charges within 3 weeks while working on cars in my driveway. I was given a court appointed attorney and went to court with proof I was on private property. The judge was the magistrate whose fence I hit. He gave me 3 years in prison not jail for driving on suspended license. I ran and I’m trying to find an attorney to help me.
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Wait, wait, wait. The defense came back on a case a showed that evidence had been falsified, and the judge reacted, essentially, via “I don’t give a fuck.”
sentient baby carrot
from the texas observer’s article on Maria Lucio: “Court records show that one Ranger zeroed in on Lucio as a suspect soon after the death, mainly because she seemed subdued and kept looking down while being questioned. “ Being subdued and looking down. Because your child just died, and you’re not a sociopath.
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caught an OUI while sober and it took 9k to rip appart the case. if I didn’t have savings and a dad that is always down for a fight with the state I would have plead guilty to make it stop. oh talking about incompetant attoneys… The DA cried and yelled at the judge because she lost to my quiet little lawyer who did nothing but object to anything he could.
Ryan Hallberg
You need money to defend yourself, even of false accusations. I’ve spent over $20,000 in the past 2 years fighting false allegations over a piece of shit who decided she doesn’t want to pay child support anymore, so she’s going to accuse me of every crime in the book. Took about 6 months of defense before anyone even stopped to ask me… “so what’s your side of the story”. You need money. I’m blessed that I joined the army and went to college with the college fund and immediately took advantage of my employer’s tuition assistance to get my masters. So I have the money to defend myself. Otherwise, I’d be fucked too.
Some of the topics mentioned in the show, I can just laugh about because Im living in a civilized country and not the barbaric, corrupt hellhole that calls itself the best nation in the world. But the American judicial system is so messed up, I’m wondering how any American with a least a fraction of a conscience can look at it and don’t burst in tears or rage.
In the fictional universe of Warhammer 40k there’s a faction that is pretty much an intergalactic Inquisition whose motto is ” Innocence proves nothing “. You’d think something messed up like that would only be from a grimdark fantasy universe but apparently the US justice system keeps proving that sometimes reality can be as bad if not worse than fiction.
Electing judges instead of having them as proper career civil servants sounds like a terrible idea. And it is, by the looks of it.
I love how he is always posting videos to make our day better nmd
Elena Plionis
This is why I can’t support the death penalty. Too many people in the justice system interested in getting a conviction instead of finding out the truth.
william louie
The amount of justice you get depends on how much money you can afford to spend to defend yourself.
Gnorts Mr Alien
If Lucio’s case can serve as a cautionary tale, its moral should be: never talk to the cops.
Prosecutorial misconduct should be a felony, and in a death penalty case it should be a murder charge
Linn Baardsen
I have seen so many cases of wrongful convictions that when I watched the Bundy tapes I was like: “yeah, but are we sure about that though?” XD
Honestly, I think it should be a crime for a public official to avoid questions by credible reporters. If they’re doing to best they can to act silent, that means they have something to hide. Too many of those corrupt pieces of shit keep getting away with this.
Justice, the one thing America claims to have, but sorley miss
I thank God for the great work that the Innocence Project is doing. It is sad that Barry Scheck got cocky and displayed his chops by getting OJ acquitted but unfortunately defense attorneys are part of a broken system public pretenders, defenders, whatever, much as Prosecutors. The real problem with American jurisprudence doesn’t start with false murder convictions or acquittals, but petty misdemeanors that make your Facebook page worthless with an eternal mugshot for at best nothing, that never goes away, without a lawyer between LA and NYNY who you can get to copyright your own photo, but can, like OJ, get you acquitted on technicalities, for murder. The whole system is screwed and Biden has everything to do with it
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A Ghost
Everything that comes out of your mouth, when you know it’s context, is so funny that I could actually jump out a window. Only when you know what it means. Only when you know what it means. Only when you know what it means. Only when you know what it means. The way of the future. The way of the future…..
eric allen
Always be wary of those too lazy to do their job. Especially lawyers and cops.
Stephen C.
Since a tortoise’s skin and flesh is literally attached to its shell, as the shell is an inextricable part of its body formed from its spine and ribs, it would be physically impossible for one to wear clothing “inside the shell” as illustrated in the graphic, therefore the only correct answer to how a tortoise would wear clothing is “outside the shell.” You’re welcome.
It’s like there’s always a “but” whenever someone pulls up an old clip of Biden saying something good or justified.
It’s a system that looks at convictions as numbers, not people.
In a system this intentonally flawed getting rid of the death penalty would be the least thing to do. And if being proven innocent even requires an appeal to get out you don’t have a legal system, you’re just gambling with peoples’ lives, release them now and pay damages, maybe they’d put some effort in before prosecuting people willy nilly.
Isaiah James
Every week I watch this show and there’s never a moment I don’t go “wow”
Michael Adams
The last 15 years of my life has been fucked since I was poor and innocent and had to plead guilty of assault. I was the one assaulted
Nicole Marie Anne Eickhoff
I’ve never disagreed with JO on anything, but “You’re Welcome” is everything I ever wanted from a Demigod, so three seconds of any actor can’t undo that.
Ninjhetto NLK3
Lets make a list of judges that need to be taken not of for incompetent rulings.
Luke Fabis
“Every 15 or 17 years, we really ought to try cases again to re-establish guilt.” That’s… that’s not a bad slippery slope to go down, actually. I support this idea.
Liked this one for the algos. Justice reform is so damn needed. It is life infrastructure for a nationals human capital.
I wish the 535 members of Congress were forced to watch this show every week. Then maybe on Monday morning they could try to right some serious wrongs in the laws passed. Almost every week there is something that should be addressed but never is.
Craig H
I love this show. It is every eye opening and informative. But damn does it make me depressed.
As a mother, its heartbreaking they interrogated her the NIGHT her daughter passed away. No time given for her to process or mourn. Where’s the humanity?
Prosecutorial misconduct should be a felony, and in a death penalty case it should be a murder charge
Jimmy Hart
One of your better pieces, Steven. You’ve had quite a few, so that’s what’s up Thank you for delving into this and many other topics on the regular. Keep up the good work, sir!
Basically, it’s the system above the innocent. Basic law needs to be taught in high school. Sadly most prosecutors only care about their conviction rate not the whether a person is innocent or guilty. Ted Cruz, anyone?
Nico J
Prosecutors aren’t meassured in “times they’ve got it right”, they are judged by conviction rate. As a result, they will fight any appeal, seen as a stain on their vest, tooth and nail and if they are ruthless and egotistical enough, like Alfredo Padilla or the one in the elevator are, they will fight it even when they themselves know they’re wrong. The police also wants a hig clear-up rate of crimes and is under constant public pressure to solve cases and deliver results. Even if an innocent person goes to jail for a crime they didn’t commit, it still counts as “case solved”. Every successful appeal on the other hand opens up that case again, damages their statistics and makes them look bad – so they won’t help either. Then you have the judges: Overruling or even allowing an appeal of the decision of another judge, a colleague they probably know personally, might not only upset them, it also signals that the justice system – and in turn they themselves – can, indeed, be fallible. What makes matters worse is the fact that a lot of prosecutors and judges are elected, so letting convicted criminals out on the street based on “technicalities” can, as presented on this very show (see “Elected Judges”), easiliy be used in attack ads even when those “technicalities” are overwhelming evidence of the defendants innocence or a clear case of police/prosecutorial misconduct. You see, the problem is the system itself and the personal interests of the people involved. Laws like AEDPA only made it easier for them to deny appeals or to file them in the first place…
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Richard Walker
The root of this problem is that the entire legal system looks at a conviction as a WIN and a dismissal as a LOSE. One the conviction exists, all those involved in that conviction NEVER want a future dismissal to affect their conviction record. I see no way out of this mess.
Ata Korkut
I don’t think a single person watching this that has been through the criminal justice system or even has had contact with police officers that is surprised that they are not out there looking for the bad guy they are there to blame whoever is most convenient and can get the case closed the quickest
Kimberly Boenig
Please look into the case of my friend Patricia Prewitt. She is in prison for life for a murder she did not convict, all on flimsy evidence. The court refuses to allow dna evidence in her appeals, even though there is dna on file from when the crime happened in the 80s. It upsets me to no end that she may never see the outside again, or spend a Christmas with her grandkids. But it’s Missouri so, yeah good luck
Andrej Parunović
This is the most effective episode of Last Week Tonight yet.
Todd Valentine
super-curious to know if people were actually surprised by Biden voting on the wrong side of history. However he did fight harder for his argument there than just about anything he promised in his presidential platform.
Having as intense of an emotional reaction to this segment as I did, really says to me “we have a severe problem with our justice system”. It is truly geared towards locking us up rather than finding true “justice”. I personally have been in the system and it is outrageously ruthless when it comes to humanitarian issues as a whole. 💙 u John, Thank You!!
Maybe you can do one on confidential informants basically luring people in so they can get out if a crime. Usually they have done worse. I would like to see what the court says about that.
jocelyn c.r
With Melissa Lucio though, her daughter (2 years of age) at the time had blunt force trauma, bruises all over her body, bite marks. How do you explain that?
Gaz de Joos
I guess we are just going to ignore the fact that John Oliver was arrested in the UK for exposing himself to a minor?
Remrie Arrie
Absolutely powerful. Thank you for producing this segment
Vanessa Whitney
I love you, John Oliver. You’re such a good man. Thank You.
Tristan David
Actually both the issues that “reasonable” people could disagree on also have only one correct answer. First of all a turtle’s shell isn’t simply something they go into like a snail, it is a part of their body that cannot be removed. So if one were to wear clothes it would have to wear them over the shell in order to be considered fully clothed. While a person could mistake the answer for the turtle if they didn’t have the information, as far as the toilet paper goes, the only way it should ever face is away from the wall, anyone who would say otherwise is not a reasonable individual.
Ah, Joe Biden… You raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly, sir. Bravo!
Growth is Freedom United Earth Enterprise
No part of police training involves any form of compassion…. keep that in mind.
Tyler Hackner
My spring break is starting with John Oliver describing our horrible injustice system in a darkly comedic matter. Love it
Dan Vannelli
Prosecutorial misconduct should be a felony, and in a death penalty case it should be a murder charge
Jennifer Garza
All of the news networks in Texas need to be following Melissa Lucio’s story and reaching out to that attorney Alfredo Padilla. His feet need to be held to the fire!
Justin Baker
You can always tell when YouTube wants you to watch something. There’s no “ad for ten seconds you can skip in 5”.
James Lewis
Turtles and tortoises have no “under the shell” space: The top of the shell is an extension of the spine and dorsal ribs, and the carapace is an extension of the sternum and ventral ribs; unlike Koopa Troopas, their shells don’t come off.
that one hispanic
“Guilty until proven innocent” should be the new slogan
This is horrific. I tell my wife all the time my worst fear in life is having to go through our justice system for anything. Scary as hell.
One quick note about Johnson’s case, Oliver here greatly mischaracterized things. There was super compelling evidence against Johnson, much more so than a letter he received that referenced details of the case publicly available at the time and sworn affidavits from people who can’t legally be tried for the murder charge claiming they are the actual murderers. Now, I’m not saying he did it. In fact, I’m in the camp that he didn’t do it and was wrongfully convicted but that is on his defense attorney in the original case. Johnson didn’t have an alibi, had hidden clothes that matched the description of the killer and there was some (tested later) genetic evidence that put him at the scene of the crime. Nothing substantial and nothing a jury should convict over but something they did convict over because of a very lack luster defense from Johnson.
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“He’s a furry, all the signs are there” cut to John saying “clomp clomp” at the end 👀
I want to recommend the series “For Life” to you all. It’s a very, very good show about pretty much exactly this – wrongful conviction for life, and then struggling to get an appeal. Watch it, it’s great. It’s on Netflix right now, at least in Germany.
Michael Austin
I found Alfredo’s information on the Texas Municipal League Directory, and the governor’s info is available on line, everyone should call and demand intervention and resignation!
The Nameless One of Belvedere
Corruption & Perseverance There are seven deadly ways one can lose their innocence. 1. Lust 2. Avarice, death, and violence 3. Drug abuse 4. Con artists or greed 5. Religious rebellion 6. Information and truth 7. Vanity, health, or disfigurement There is no such thing as adult innocence. There is no such thing as the corruption of innocence unless the person is a bastion of the underaged. Most people are aware of or live through at least a few of these. Most feel better for having survived them but if you lose your spirit through them you have lost to the world. There is no such thing as adult innocence. There is no such thing as adult innocence. These clean appearing adult freaks are simply deep in a denial illusion playing people so they don’t have to deal with harsh realities. mkhkmkhkm. 😆
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Josh Davis
Any system that allows an innocent person to be jailed or EXECUTED based on an individual’s biases, prejudices, laziness etc, is irreparably broken. A lot of reform needs to happen in this country.
I want to talk about that interrogation recording at the end: this is classic Minimisation/Maximisation, where you maximise the stress of denying (“are you a cold blooded murderer”, “we know what happened”) while minimise the stress associated with confessing (“are you a frustrated mother?”, “I understand, I understand, I understand”). Here’s the thing: this is a hugely psychologically manipulative method that drastically (and I mean statistically significantly) increases the risk of falsely confessing. Oh, and I’m 95% sure this method is illegal on most EU countries [though I cannot say that I am certain] Fuck you Reid
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Meaghan Ruddy
Maybe with John’s help, Sister Prejean can finally get the biggest win.
Kittin Allen
My public defender told me I needed to accept a plea for 2 felonies, I didnt find out that some of the evidence had no pictures of it taken at the scene because it didnt fit their narrative. The other person I was arrested with filed a motion to exclude the evidence due to police misconduct, and even during the testimony by police in that hearing, they perjured themselves. The judge still ruled in the prosecutors favour. I asked my public defender to file a motion to exclude and she said no, that the other case did that and it didnt work, so that wasnt the right road to take. I asked her numerous times, to which she said no. When i said I would plead to whatever they want if the cop who laid waste to my and the other persons rights as well as perjury on the giglio/Brady lists. She told me that nothing would happen, even if I proved they lied or abused my rights, that I had no case and if I didnt want to lose my job and have a felony or two on my pristine record I need to plead. I said no, I can’t, I woulnt be able to look myslef in the mirror after knowing that I had saved my skin and that the next person that this cop did it to…or the cop he was training at the time it happened, may have 2 strikes already and not be able to fight it. I was told by her that she didnt know what she was going to argue cos i had no case, she had nothing to defend me with, that she didn’t think that I even had the ability to assist in my own defense, and that I was guilty if I went to trial. I said I would rather be able to look myself in the mirror with a felony conviction or two than have to hide from myself the rest of my days while I rotted from the inside. The day before my trial, I got a call that said the prosecutor dropped all charges.
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Never, ever speak to the Police without the presence of a lawyer even if they just want to “have a chat”. If you’re part of a criminal investigation, always lawyer up
5:30 I’m taking a highscool intro to law class, and for a mock trial I had more time to prepare. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m a better lawyer than him.
I always laugh when somebody tries to claim that the US has rule of law. If the US were to recognize the international court of justice a lot of politicians would be found guilty of crimes against humanity.
Emsley Wyatt
Look at the bright side. Our prosecutors are so good they can get convictions against people who aren’t even guilty.
JJ Rush
Let’s appreciate the hard work to put a smile on our faces when we get sad fLN
Steven Banks
Always ask for a lawyer. Do not talk to the police in a criminal investigation.
Denethor Grey
To americans: I’m so glad I live in Europe … your US law system is sooo fucked up, it seems like Russia or China to me.
DeebZ Scrub
I was team over the shell, but honestly after seeing the visual representation under the shell looks more correct.
The thing anyone who’s a suspect needs to know is DON’T TALK TO THE POLICE!! I know it upsets some people who feel like being arrested equals being guilty, but I’ll share this with you: when the “Runaway Bride” from Georgia went missing, her fiance, who knew he had done nothing, wouldn’t speak to the police without a lawyer. Why should you be stupider than someone with money? Talking to the police cannot help you. You never have to “go downtown”; you never have to answer their questions; you can leave an interview at any time as long as you haven’t been put under arrest. Avoid trouble: obey the law, for sure, but also NEVER TALK THE POLICE!! EVER!!
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I once heard a quote in a murder show something to the effect of…the second you receive a guilty charge for a crime, guilty or not, the likelihood of getting out is almost zero. No one believes you and no one cares.
I miss when John Oliver was just plain funny. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still funny, but now he’s also incredibly depressing. Man, the world is depressing.
Tiger Lily
Good job, John! Break the cognitive dissonance of Biden lovers in this country. 😘 – NOT a Trump supporter either. BERNIE 2024
Killian King
It’s not about justice. Its about getting across the message that they can mandate our deaths at anytime, and that anyone not in the crosshairs should feel blessed that its not them.
Aria Joy
I genuinely don’t understand how this is happening. How can a justice system take a grieving mother who lost her daughter in a horrible accident and decide she needs to be put to death. Yet wealthy and prominent figures can hit and kill people with their cars and get off with a slap on the wrist.