Friday, January 20, 2017

Fighting camera tickets

Great post at ArsTechnica about fighting a speeding ticket issued by a camera. The key court event:
On cross-examination, I established that:
- He [the police officer] was not present at the time of the alleged violation.
- He has no photographic evidence of the driver.
- There were no witnesses.
- He does not know where Adam MacLeod [the author] was at the time of the alleged violation.
And so on. I then asked the question one is taught never to ask on cross—the last one. “So, you signed an affidavit under the pains and penalties of perjury alleging probable cause to believe that Adam MacLeod committed a violation of traffic laws without any evidence that was so?”
Without hesitating he answered, “Yes.” This surprised both of us. It also surprised the judge, who looked up from his desk for the first time. A police officer had just testified under oath that he perjured himself in service to a city government and a mysterious, far-away corporation whose officers probably earn many times his salary.
Make sure to read the sections on why this case matters and the basic constitutional questions at stake, Also, the case typifies the merging/denial of criminal and civil procedure in these citation cases, which are a growing (and profitable) part of local government in this age of tax cuts.

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