History Main / OffOnATechnicality

21st Oct '16 4:01:41 PM billybobfred
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** A particularly famous case of this is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_v._United_States Clay v. United States]]'', the case about UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli's refusal to submit to the draft.[[note]]Details: As Thurgood Marshall had been in the employ of the Department of Justice at the time the case was initiated, he recused himself, leaving the Court at an eight-man panel. After oral arguments, the vote was 5-3 against Ali, but after Justice Harlan -- who had been assigned to write the opinion -- had read up on Black Nationalist and Nation of Islam doctrine, he was convinced that Ali really was a conscientious objector. This changed the Court to 4-4, which presented a problem -- the Court ''hates'' 4-4 decisions, because they uphold the status quo without publishing an opinion, meaning Ali would go back to jail and never even know why. Eventually, Justice Stewart found a technical issue in the procedure followed by the Draft Appeal Board, and a unanimous Court issued an opinion striking that procedure down.[[/note]]

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** A particularly famous case of this is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_v._United_States Clay v. United States]]'', the case about UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli's refusal to submit to the draft.[[note]]Details: As Thurgood Marshall had been in the employ of the Department of Justice at the time the case was initiated, he recused himself, leaving the Court at an eight-man panel. After oral arguments, the vote was 5-3 against Ali, but after Justice Harlan -- who had been assigned to write the opinion -- had read up on Black Nationalist and Nation of Islam doctrine, he was convinced that Ali really was a conscientious objector. This changed the Court to 4-4, which presented a problem -- the Court ''hates'' 4-4 decisions, because they uphold the status quo without publishing an opinion, meaning Ali would go back to jail and never even know why. Eventually, Justice Stewart found a technical issue in the procedure followed by the Draft Appeal Board, and a unanimous Court issued an opinion striking that procedure down.[[/note]]
21st Oct '16 4:00:02 PM billybobfred
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** A particularly famous case of this is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_v._United_States Clay v. United States]]'', the case about UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli's refusal to submit to the draft.[[note]]Details: As Thurgood Marshall had been in the employ of the Department of Justice at the time the case was initiated, he recused himself, leaving the Court at an eight-man panel. After oral arguments, the vote was 5-3 against Ali, but after Justice Harlan--who had been assigned to write the opinion--had read up on Black Nationalist and Nation of Islam doctrine, he was convinced that Ali really was a conscientious objector. This changed the Court to 4-4, which presented a problem--the Court ''hates'' 4-4 decisions. Eventually, Justice Stewart found a technical issue in the procedure followed by the Draft Appeal Board, and a unanimous Court issued an opinion striking that procedure down.[[/note]]

to:

** A particularly famous case of this is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_v._United_States Clay v. United States]]'', the case about UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli's refusal to submit to the draft.[[note]]Details: As Thurgood Marshall had been in the employ of the Department of Justice at the time the case was initiated, he recused himself, leaving the Court at an eight-man panel. After oral arguments, the vote was 5-3 against Ali, but after Justice Harlan--who Harlan -- who had been assigned to write the opinion--had opinion -- had read up on Black Nationalist and Nation of Islam doctrine, he was convinced that Ali really was a conscientious objector. This changed the Court to 4-4, which presented a problem--the problem -- the Court ''hates'' 4-4 decisions.decisions, because they uphold the status quo without publishing an opinion, meaning Ali would go back to jail and never even know why. Eventually, Justice Stewart found a technical issue in the procedure followed by the Draft Appeal Board, and a unanimous Court issued an opinion striking that procedure down.[[/note]]
1st Oct '16 2:37:14 PM StarSword
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** In the series premiere, Danny [[JackBauerInterrogtionTechnique beats information out of a child predator]], whose attorney [[RealityEnsues correctly argues]] that evidence obtained by torture is inadmissible. Fortunately they're able to find other evidence to convict him.

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** In the series premiere, Danny [[JackBauerInterrogtionTechnique [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique beats information out of a child predator]], whose attorney [[RealityEnsues correctly argues]] that evidence obtained by torture is inadmissible. Fortunately they're able to find other evidence to convict him.
1st Oct '16 2:36:47 PM StarSword
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* ''[[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]]'' has a few:

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* ''[[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]]'' ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' has a few:



* In the ''Series/BlueBloods'' episode "Re-Do" SerialRapist[=/=][[SerialKiller murderer]] Dick Reed is set free because a technician at the crime lab fouled up the protocols on a DNA test.

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* ''Series/BlueBloods'':
**
In the ''Series/BlueBloods'' series premiere, Danny [[JackBauerInterrogtionTechnique beats information out of a child predator]], whose attorney [[RealityEnsues correctly argues]] that evidence obtained by torture is inadmissible. Fortunately they're able to find other evidence to convict him.
** In the
episode "Re-Do" SerialRapist[=/=][[SerialKiller murderer]] Dick Reed is set free because a technician at the crime lab fouled up the protocols on a DNA test.






* ''TeamoSupremo'' once faced a criminal said to have used a technicality to get away with previous crimes.
* In ''TheVentureBros'', Captain Sunshine apprehends the Monarch, only for the villain to reappear in his lair soon afterwards. When his minions ask how he escaped so quickly, with annoyance he explains that Captain Sunshine is an idiot with no understanding of "due process": he flew the Monarch to the state prison, dumped him in front of the guards in the courtyard, then flew away (this is a jab at Superman's use of this tactic). The prison guards, however, simply let him go...given that he hadn't been formally given a trial of any kind, or even ''formally arrested'' in the first place.

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* ''TeamoSupremo'' ''WesternAnimation/TeamoSupremo'' once faced a criminal said to have used a technicality to get away with previous crimes.
* In ''TheVentureBros'', ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBros'', Captain Sunshine apprehends the Monarch, only for the villain to reappear in his lair soon afterwards. When his minions ask how he escaped so quickly, with annoyance he explains that Captain Sunshine is an idiot with no understanding of "due process": he flew the Monarch to the state prison, dumped him in front of the guards in the courtyard, then flew away (this is a jab at Superman's use of this tactic). The prison guards, however, simply let him go...given that he hadn't been formally given a trial of any kind, or even ''formally arrested'' in the first place.



* If the US government has spied on you illegally and they classified the spying as secret, you can't sue. Because the fact that they spied on you is classified, you can't prove they spied on you. [[Catch22Dilemma If you could prove it, you could sue, but the evidence is secret, so you can't]].
** Even if you can prove that the government illegally spied on you, the feds will try to have the entire case thrown out on "state secrecy" grounds. Even if some of the evidence you have isn't secret.
*** In evidence involving government spying, they can legally conceal the "sources and methods."
* The Scopes "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopes_Trial Monkey Trial]]", over the teaching of evolution in schools. Scopes's conviction was set aside on appeal: the Butler Act, forbidding the teaching of evolution, carried a mandatory fine of $100, which is what Scopes had been fined when convicted. However, Tennessee law of the time forbade judges from setting fines above $50, rendering the judgment invalid. It's been suggested that the judge knew this and did it intentionally, so the supreme court could overrule him on technical grounds, preserving the law from a constitutional challenge.
** Not to mention the entire trial was a fabrication to save the town of Dayton, Tennessee by putting it on the map, bringing tourist dollars in -- Scopes hadn't even violated the law, only going along with it for this purpose.

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* If the US government has spied on you illegally and they classified the spying as secret, you can't sue. Because the fact that they spied on you is classified, you can't prove they spied on you. [[Catch22Dilemma If you could prove it, you could sue, but the evidence is secret, so you can't]].
** Even if you can prove that the government illegally spied on you, the feds will try to have the entire case thrown out on "state secrecy" grounds. Even if some of the evidence you have isn't secret.
*** In evidence involving government spying, they can legally conceal the "sources and methods."
*
The Scopes "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopes_Trial Monkey Trial]]", over the teaching of evolution in schools. Scopes's conviction was set aside on appeal: the Butler Act, forbidding the teaching of evolution, carried a mandatory fine of $100, which is what Scopes had been fined when convicted. However, Tennessee law of the time forbade judges from setting fines above $50, rendering the judgment invalid. It's been suggested that the judge knew this and did it intentionally, so the supreme court could overrule him on technical grounds, preserving the law from a constitutional challenge. Not to mention the entire trial was a fabrication to save the town of Dayton, Tennessee by putting it on the map, bringing tourist dollars in -- Scopes hadn't even violated the law, only going along with it for this purpose.
** Not * If the US government has spied on you illegally and they classified the spying as secret, you can't sue. Because the fact that they spied on you is classified, you can't prove they spied on you. [[Catch22Dilemma If you could prove it, you could sue, but the evidence is secret, so you can't]]. Even if you can prove that the government illegally spied on you, the feds will try to mention have the entire trial was a fabrication to save case thrown out on "state secrecy" grounds. Even if some of the town of Dayton, Tennessee by putting it on evidence you have isn't secret. In evidence involving government spying, they can legally conceal the map, bringing tourist dollars in -- Scopes hadn't even violated "sources and methods." All thanks to the law, only going along with it for this purpose. Espionage Act.
1st Oct '16 1:32:36 PM StarSword
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* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': In "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS01E08Dax Dax]]", the crew foil a so-called extradition attempt by the Klaestrons against Jadzia Dax by pointing out that, despite being operated by the Federation, Deep Space 9 is legally Bajoran soil. The Klaestrons therefore must argue for extradition in a Bajoran court rather than relying on their extradition treaty with the Federation (which permits them to act unilaterally, [[FridgeLogic raising questions about the competence of Federation diplomats]]), which buys Odo the time he needs to find evidence exonerating Dax's previous host Curzon.
1st Oct '16 11:39:26 AM StarSword
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* In ''Literature/AlexisCarew: Mutineer'' Alexis briefly consults an attorney on challenging Dalthan agnatic primogeniture inheritance law, but is informed that she couldn't, ''yet'', due to a problem of standing: as her grandfather is still alive, she has not yet been personally injured by the nationally unconstitutional law and therefore cannot challenge it.



** In "Point of no Return", Sheridan uses a 'chain of command' irregularity (The orders had been sent out by the Senate, which didn't have the legal authority to issue them. Ivonova points out that the President would likely issue a new set from his own office - which ''did'' have the authority to make said orders - within the week) to prevent Nightwatch taking over the station, as had been ordered by President Clark when he seized absolute power. They certainly consider Sheridan to be a criminal getting off on a technicality.

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** In "Point of no Return", Sheridan uses a 'chain of command' irregularity (The orders had been sent out by the Senate, Political Office, which didn't have the legal authority to issue them. Ivonova Ivanova points out that the President would likely issue a new set from his own office - which ''did'' have the authority to make said orders - within the week) to prevent Nightwatch taking over the station, as had been ordered by President Clark when he seized absolute power. They certainly consider Sheridan to be a criminal getting off on a technicality.



* In an episode of ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', Martin tells Frasier about an incident where he was arresting a man with a long criminal record, and was attacked while reading him his rights, meaning that they weren't read in full. Martin says that when it came time to testify in court whether the man had his rights read in full, Martin lied that they were so he wouldn't get off on a technicality. He justifies it with the fact that the man had been arrested so many times that "he could have read me my rights" and that it was the right thing to do (since the man was a violent criminal).
** Even worse is that there would have been no reason for Martin to lie. The man ''assaulted a police officer''. The officer (just like anybody else) is legally perfectly able to testify about a crime if he's the victim, Miranda warning or no. Plus, the arrestee interrupting his Miranda rights by assaulting the reader and attempting to escape is his fault if they weren't read correctly. On top of everything else, Martin says he "saw him shoot someone." Miranda Rights or not, he can testify and convict the guy, except maybe if there were a confession involved--only then if they weren't read before that would it be excluded.

to:

* In an episode of ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', Martin tells Frasier about an incident where he was arresting a man with a long criminal record, and was attacked while reading him his rights, meaning that they weren't read in full. Martin says that when it came time to testify in court whether the man had his rights read in full, Martin lied that they were so he wouldn't get off on a technicality. He justifies it with the fact that the man had been arrested so many times that "he could have read me my rights" and that it was the right thing to do (since the man was a violent criminal).
** Even worse is that there would have been no reason for Martin to lie. The
criminal). [[ArtisticLicenseLaw This misrepresents the nature of the Miranda warning]]: the man ''assaulted a police officer''. The officer'', and the officer (just like anybody else) is legally perfectly able to testify about a crime if he's the victim, Miranda warning whether the suspect was Mirandized or no. not. Plus, the arrestee interrupting his Miranda rights by assaulting the reader and attempting to escape is makes it his fault if they weren't read correctly. On top of everything else, Martin says he "saw him shoot someone." Miranda Rights or not, he can testify and convict the guy, except maybe if there were a confession involved--only then if they weren't read before that would it be excluded.



* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk_Grove_Unified_School_District_v._Newdow That whole Supreme Court case]] about whether it violates the separation of church and state to have kids saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance at school [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot ended very boringly]] when the Court ruled that since the father who filed the lawsuit didn't have custody of his kid, he couldn't claim to be protecting her First Amendment rights.
** A great many cases the judges don't want to decide (that is, political cases) are dismissed when [[TakeAThirdOption the judges rule that the person bringing the case doesn't have standing to sue or that there was some sort of error in the procedure of the court or administrative agency below]]. This is especially true when the judges know (as in the above case) that their decision would be hugely unpopular (or alternatively, that they don't want to make the correct ruling because they like the status quo, even if it's wrong); this is especially common when, after reviewing the case and hearing oral arguments, the judges realize that they can't come to a majority decision on the merits, but that some technical ground exists that can avoid the embarrassment of a fractured or plurality decision. A particularly famous case of this is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_v._United_States Clay v. United States]]'', the case about UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli's refusal to submit to the draft.[[note]]Details: As Thurgood Marshall had been in the employ of the Department of Justice at the time the case was initiated, he recused himself, leaving the Court at an eight-man panel. After oral arguments, the vote was 5-3 against Ali, but after Justice Harlan--who had been assigned to write the opinion--had read up on Black Nationalist and Nation of Islam doctrine, he was convinced that Ali really was a conscientious objector. This changed the Court to 4-4, which presented a problem--the Court ''hates'' 4-4 decisions. Eventually, Justice Stewart found a technical issue in the procedure followed by the Draft Appeal Board, and a unanimous Court issued an opinion striking that procedure down.[[/note]]

to:

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk_Grove_Unified_School_District_v._Newdow That whole Supreme Court case]] about whether it violates the separation of church and state to have kids saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance at school [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot ended very boringly]] when the Court ruled that since the father who filed the lawsuit didn't have custody of his kid, he couldn't claim to be protecting her First Amendment rights.
**
A great many cases the judges don't want to decide (that is, political cases) are dismissed when [[TakeAThirdOption the judges rule that the person bringing the case doesn't have standing to sue or that there was some sort of error in the procedure of the court or administrative agency below]]. This is especially true when the judges know (as in the above case) that their decision would be hugely unpopular controversial (or alternatively, that they don't want to make the correct ruling because they like the status quo, even if it's wrong); this wrong), but is especially common when, after reviewing the case and hearing oral arguments, the judges realize that they can't come to a majority decision on the merits, but that some technical ground exists that can avoid the embarrassment of a fractured or plurality decision. decision.
**
A particularly famous case of this is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_v._United_States Clay v. United States]]'', the case about UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli's refusal to submit to the draft.[[note]]Details: As Thurgood Marshall had been in the employ of the Department of Justice at the time the case was initiated, he recused himself, leaving the Court at an eight-man panel. After oral arguments, the vote was 5-3 against Ali, but after Justice Harlan--who had been assigned to write the opinion--had read up on Black Nationalist and Nation of Islam doctrine, he was convinced that Ali really was a conscientious objector. This changed the Court to 4-4, which presented a problem--the Court ''hates'' 4-4 decisions. Eventually, Justice Stewart found a technical issue in the procedure followed by the Draft Appeal Board, and a unanimous Court issued an opinion striking that procedure down.[[/note]][[/note]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk_Grove_Unified_School_District_v._Newdow That whole Supreme Court case]] about whether it violates the separation of church and state to have kids saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance at school [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot ended very boringly]] when the Court ruled that since the father who filed the lawsuit didn't have custody of his kid, he couldn't claim to be protecting her First Amendment rights.
30th Sep '16 12:01:47 AM PaulA
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* Literature/MickeyHaller is a specialist at defending known criminals. One case unrelated to the first novel's main plot had him defending a marijuana grower who had been detected by a DEA flyover. Haller notes that the flyover was at a low enough altitude to constitute an illegal search, and the case is thrown out.

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* Literature/MickeyHaller is a specialist at defending known criminals. One case in ''Literature/TheLincolnLawyer'' unrelated to the first novel's main plot had him defending a marijuana grower who had been detected by a DEA flyover. Haller notes that the flyover was at a low enough altitude to constitute an illegal search, and the case is thrown out.
30th Sep '16 12:00:50 AM PaulA
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* Mickey Haller, the protagonist of Creator/MichaelConnelly's ''Literature/TheLincolnLawyer'' series, is a specialist at defending known criminals. One case unrelated to the first novel's main plot had him defending a marijuana grower who had been detected by a DEA flyover. Haller notes that the flyover was at a low enough altitude to constitute an illegal search, and the case is thrown out.

to:

* Mickey Haller, the protagonist of Creator/MichaelConnelly's ''Literature/TheLincolnLawyer'' series, Literature/MickeyHaller is a specialist at defending known criminals. One case unrelated to the first novel's main plot had him defending a marijuana grower who had been detected by a DEA flyover. Haller notes that the flyover was at a low enough altitude to constitute an illegal search, and the case is thrown out.
29th Aug '16 4:10:41 PM luiz4200
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* ''Comicbook/LaffALympics'': In the special story "The Man Who Stole Thursday", a criminal arrested by Dog Wonder had to be released because his trial would take place at thursday.
27th Aug '16 4:04:52 PM MoPete
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* In the early ''Franchise/CarmenSandiego'' games, even if you caught up with the crook, if you didn't have a warrant, or had a warrant for the wrong crook, an arrest could not be made and the criminal would be allowed to go free.
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