Opeth, you said:
About doctors, malpractice insurance, lawsuits involving doctors...and the crisis that faces America's health care system:
Logically, what factor or factors can be controlled in order to approach this issue in a feasible manner, thereby ending or at least minimizing this crisis?
Loyalties must be put aside. Emotions must not dictate the reasonings of decisions. Most importantly, it is the general populace who need quality health care and their needs must not be forgotten.
If you have a hole card to play -- it's time to show.
Take laws like Miranda, for example. I agree that people need to understand their rights but, should Miranda be abused or not used correctly, should the perpetrator walk? If a suspect wasn't read his rights, does that mean the crime didn't happen? The murdered victim didn't really die?...tell that to the survivors. Should there be punishment for not following Miranda? Yes..punish the officer or department that abused it. SUspend them, fire them or do whatever it takes but don't erase the crime because of it.
From the Miranda Ruling;
1. You have the right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
3. You have the right to have an attorney present now and during any future questioning.
4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you free of charge if you wish.
It takes 11 seconds to say this to a suspect. Is there any good reason for a police officer to ever NOT read a suspect his rights? But even in the event he doesn't, that doesn't mean the case gets thrown out. That's Television Justice. In the real world Miranda works like this: http://www.cnn.com/2000/LAW/06/columns/lazarus.06.07/
This article was written before the vastly CONSERVATIVE Supreme Court upheld Miranda again in June 2000 so some of the information is a little dated.. but it is accurate in the actual workings... this germane excerpt for those who don't click:
the judge could adopt a middle ground and find what is known as a "merely technical" violation of Miranda. This kind of violation occurs when the police have failed to give a suspect the "prophylactic" warnings Miranda requires, but where the ensuing confession is nonetheless deemed to be voluntarily given. Under this third option, the prosecution would be precluded from using the Rathbun's un-Mirandized station-house statements in its case-in-chief.
But the finding of such a technical violation does not taint evidence discovered as a result of those un-Mirandized,but voluntary, statements. Accordingly, the prosecution would still be able to use the victim's body and the forensic evidence despite the omission of Miranda warnings. Moreover, if Rathbun later decided to testify at trial, the prosecutor would be allowed to use his heretofore inadmissible un-Mirandized statements to impeach his testimony.
The judge in the Rathbun case, of course, opted for door number three. He couldn't ignore the obvious flouting of Miranda. But what judge was going to suppress completely the crucial forensic evidence in a case that had made the cover of People magazine? As a consequence, Rathbun was convicted and is currently serving a life sentence.
More credit than it deserves
Having served several years as a prosecutor, I have little doubt that the wholly predictable outcome of the Rathbun suppression motion illustrates some general truths about Miranda. Such truths have found little place in its reconsideration before the court -- although they strongly urge that this controversial precedent be re-affirmed. While liberals champion Miranda for its protection of individual rights and conservatives decry the windfall it offers guilty defendants when the constable stumbles, I believe both sides give the doctrine more credit than it deserves.
As matters currently stand, when police officers fail to observe Miranda, judges almost always limit themselves (as Rathbun's judge did) to finding "technical" violations of Miranda, thereby allowing prosecutors to use evidence derived from challenged confessions and to keep defendants from testifying in their own defense. Judges almost never take the extra step of finding a confession to be actually involuntary -- which would deprive the prosecution of any evidence obtained as a resulted of the tainted confession.
Indeed, in practice, and wholly apart from the much-debated issue of whether Miranda inhibits police from obtaining confessions, the ruling has become largely symbolic. It allows judges to scold police for misbehavior and pay lip service to the right against self-incrimination, while minimizing the actual effect on police and prosecutors. Indeed, the Supreme Court, by opening various loopholes in what appeared to be Miranda's original scope, has guaranteed that Miranda warnings would be largely ineffectual, whether or not the actual doctrine were to be overruled.
But the fact that Miranda does little either to protect defendant's rights or to punish police wrongdoing does not mean it serves no purpose.
Paradoxically, the toothlessness of the present incarnation of the Miranda doctrine has produced the unintended benefit of mitigating one of the worst flaws in federal criminal law, namely, the grossly disparate treatment received by defendants depending on which judge presides over their cases. And this disparity will be greatly exacerbated if Miranda is overturned and replaced by Section 3501, the federal statute currently at issue before the court.
Here we have an example again of a panel of judges making what you consider to be 'bad' law Micheal in Miranda. But, we see in application that it isn't necessarily the bugaboo that we might be led to believe that it is.
Interestingly enough -- in the actual Miranda case -- Miranda was found guilty again in his second trial of theft and rape after the Supreme Court made it's famous ruling supressing his original confession -- the evidence convicted him. When he was later stabbed to death his murderer walked -- because he hadn't been read his rights.
[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (03-09-2003 12:21 AM).]