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Police Abuse of Authority: When Police Lie on the Court Stand

Edward Prutschi discusses what happens when police lie in a court of law.


Edward Prutschi discusses a troubling trend that has often been well-known in Toronto legal circles but has largely remained outside the public discourse. With this topic recently being cast into the public eye, Edward Prutschi takes to the airwaves with News Talk 1010 to discuss how often, why and when do police lie on the court stand. Edward Prutschi states that the public psyche has accepted policemen as the pinnacle of honesty and fairness. But studies, video evidence, transcripts and his personal experience have all shown that some police officers definitely go beyond legal limits and bend the truth to fit their agenda.

How often do police lie on the stand? While it is not the general rule, Edward argues that it is not at all uncommon for policemen to lie on the stand. Almost all seasoned criminal lawyers have had a case or two, where the police officers were shown to be dishonest in their testimonies. This has resulted in either the case being dropped against the defendant or the judge has ordered the testimony to be ignored or overruled. What is their motivation? Prutschi discusses one of the reasons that some police officers might do this is because they believe that by adhering to their own hunch, they definitely know if someone is guilty or not. They simply make up their mind about a defendant and exaggerate or underemphasize the truth. To them, it’s getting a bad guy off the streets and simply an ‘ends justify the means’ rationale. Prutschi says that by going by their gut-feeling, policemen are undermining and not helping our criminal justice system. And that honesty should be paramount in all witness testimonies regardless of personal feelings or convictions.

If you or anyone you know believe that they have experienced police abuse of authority, please call one of our criminal lawyers today to see what we can do for you.

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