In Michigan, if you abuse or neglect one of your children, the state can come and take your other children. There’s this doctrine called anticipatory neglect, where if you mistreat one child, the court can presume that you’re going to be just as crappy with the other kids, and they can take all the kids away before you have a chance. “The parent’s past treatment of another child gives rise to a fear that a subsequent child will also be neglected or abused.” Source. In other words, if you’re crappy, we’re going to assume you’re crappy.
That rule that applies to you and me, when it comes to our children, does not apply to the police when they want to charge you with drunk driving. For the police, if they lie when they gather evidence, the 86th District Court will just decide that you’re credible enough if you say you’re not lying in another circumstance. Actually, though, you never even said that you’re not lying in another circumstance, they just didn’t even look into it.
Okay back up. We need to review what happened:
- There are these things called DataMaster machines. They’re the test you take at the police station to see if you’re over the legal limit for drunk driving.
- The machines have to be calibrated to know that they work properly. They need routine calibration, plus there can be problems that arise that need to be dealt with.
- The people tasked with calibrating the machines decided to cheat, lie and make up records to make their lives easier.
- Officials found issues in nine different police departments throughout the state.
- The same people who did the dirty deeds in other places also handled testing for DataMaster machines in Northern Michigan.
- This came to light in January, 2020.
- In June, 2020, 86th District Court Judge Stepka (of the third branch of government, don’t forget it) ruled that just because someone lies in one circumstance doesn’t mean that they can’t be telling the truth in another circumstance. In fact, if there’s no evidence they’re lying in the other circumstance, except for the fact that they’re a liar, we should sustain life-changing criminal convictions against the people who can’t prove they’re not lying this time, even though they’re a liar. Source.
- Lots of government officials said notable things in June, 2020:
- Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg: “We haven’t seen any issues with our instrument, any wrongdoing there.”
- Antrim County Prosecutor Jim Rossiter: “Does the behavior in one small area call into question the behavior and accuracy in the larger geographical region?”
- 86th District Court Judge Stepka: “There’s no evidence that the datamaster used in this case…provided an inaccurate result.” (Cleverly worded, except it’s up to the state to prove that it’s good, not up to the defendant to prove that it’s bad.)
- September 2020, it comes to light that there were problems with the machines in Grand Traverse County. You. Don’t. Say. They identified three different periods of questionable maintenance with the Grand Traverse County DataMaster records.
- Officials not admit they knew of testing issues as early as April 2019. They said that it was more important to nurture the people doing the cheating than it was to ensure the reliability of criminal convictions in the State of Michigan.
- Also, in March of 2019, this happened with court-ordered drug testing in Grand Traverse County.
- Also, in April 2019, Todd Ritter resigned after allegedly banging parolees, don’t call them inmates or you’ll get a nastygram from Kit.
- You know what didn’t happen in the spring of 2019? Carol Stocking didn’t retire. But I digress.
Judge Stepka seems to think that an instrument provides reliable results even though it hasn’t gone through the tests and calibrations that make it give accurate results. This is what happens when we let humanities majors run the world.
The presumption is supposed to be in favor of the defendant. It’s the People who are moving to charge someone with a crime who actually have the burden to prove their testing is done properly. Judge Stepka seems to flip these burdens on their heads in the 86th District Court by requiring defendants to prove police actions are bad. He’s just doing it wrong.
When us ordinary blokes are crappy, we’re always crappy, according to the government. But when government officials are crappy, it’s only isolated crappyness, and there’s no proof they’re not crappy even if there’s proof they’re crappy.
I make fun, but this is serious stuff.