Tag Archives: crime

Law[less] and [Dis]order

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I love watching Law&Order. Husband, not so much — but really, I am the one with the remote control in the house so he has to deal with whatever crap he thinks he’s watching. I’ve been watching Law&Order since I was in high school and old enough to understand the awesomeness of the program.

Of course I understand, that for some people it is not more than usual crime drama. For me it is more than that. It is more than CSI where a group of people are sweeping the crime scene, trying to solve the puzzle. With Law&Order, the puzzle is usually not difficult, nor unique. It is usually just a common crime done by common people. But that’s not all it is about.

The original Law and Order has this very famouse narration in the beginning of the show:

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

Got it? That’s at least the idea of how the criminal justice system works in the US.

How about Indonesia?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the trial for Jessica started weeks ago. The official trial, that is. Months ago, I have talked about this, and I have sensed how scarily flawed our criminal justice system — that is, if we based our judgement on this trial. How even the judge seems to “nudge nudge wink wink” with the persecutor, ignoring the fact that this case has not got enough evidence to go on a trial.

Yes. Of course… I have watched enough Law&Order to understand that there is something called “Circumstantial Evidence”. Unlike CSI who are working with hard evidence such as DNA, fingerprint, fibres, and blood spatters, the detectives in L&O also works with circumstantial evidences. What are they? Motives, opportunities, and alibi, and the like.

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/File:L%26OUK_poster.jpg - I was going to post Jessica's photo, but really... if she's proven innocent, I don't want to be responsible to be one of those people who immortalise this trauma for her. So... How about Law and Order UK instead? -

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/File:L%26OUK_poster.jpg – I was going to post Jessica’s photo, but really… if she’s proven innocent, I don’t want to be responsible to be one of those people who immortalise this trauma for her. So… How about Law and Order UK instead? –

However… “She looks dodgy” is not a circumstantial evidence, it is an opinion. “Her attitude is unusal” is not a circumstantial evidence either. It might lead the investigation to find evidence, but opinion is opinion and SHOULD NEVER EVER be used as an evidence. Circumstantial evidence could be: “oh she’s got a connection to someone who can get her cyanide”, or “this is the evidence that she will gain something from the death of the other girl”, or “this is the evidence of the relationship in the past, and here are some witnesses who heard her said something about killing this woman”. Strong circumstantial evidence.

What I saw in the trial of Jessica was criminalisation. The fact that the case is so high profile, and the eyes of the media are all on it, it would be embarrassing for the persecutor to ditch the case and admit that there’s no case against this woman. It reminds me of the trial of the former KPK director Antasari Azhar.

At that time there were NO evidence linking him to the case. It was clear that the evidences were planted, and even the circumstantial evidence were made up. The witnesses disappeared after the trial, so that nobody could prove that they have committed perjury. Even the family of the victim begged the court to continue the investigation and release Antasari as they KNOW that it wasn’t him who killed their beloved one.

But in the end, they brought him down anyway.

And, hey! If it worked for a high profile individual like Antasari Azhar — a man with such a status, well known as someone who’s always in the right side of the law, why can’t it work to Jessica? She’s just a young woman, visiting home to see family and friends — maybe for Chinese New Year — oh and minority too. Should be easy, isn’t it?

But if it worked to Antasari Azhar and Jessica, two high profile cases in the country, how do you know that there are no cases like them that is not covered by the media? How do you know that if one day you are so unfortunate being caught up in a criminal case, and you’re innocent… How do you know that you could get a fair trial? How do you know that you can rely on your evidences, alibis, and innocence? How do you know that things would be alright if you do everything right?

You don’t.

http://www.metrotvnews.com/embed/0k8gEPob

To close my entry today, I will give you a video… The video is a fragment from Metro TV’s program NSI (News Story Insight) presented by Aviani Malik about the victims of wrong persecution that you might have never heard before.

Prost

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Book Review: Roadside Crosses

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Title: Roadside Crosses
Author: Jefferey Deaver
Language: English
Format: Paperback

Review:
When a patrol officer saw a cross on the roadside he thought nothing about it. Not until…

Well… I shouldn’t tell you the story should I? If you want to read the synopsis you could click here. While I am going to do the review.

The main character of this book is Kathryn Dance, a kinesics expert — basically someone who observe one’s body language to interpret messages. Something that in the real life I don’t believe. But this is a book, so I enjoyed it. It is meant to be a fiction, isn’t it?

Anyway. Apart from the fact that I am not comfortable with “kinesics expert” thingy. I could say that I quite enjoy the book. I think it is Jeffery Deaver’s writing style that made me practically hooked to the story. I should say that he’s one of my favourites — and I don’t have many.

The fast paced storyline appeals to me. There is nothing that puts me off more than a dragging scene about two people reminiscing about something that has nothing to do with the plot (just for the sake of the word count).

I like the way he twist the plot without wringing it too much. I patted myself in the back for being able to guess the obvious. But boy… the last one, I did not expect that at all. It is always nice to have an unexpected something when reading a book.

Unfortunately, I don’t read the book according to its sequence. I did not read the first book, and this is the second one of the Kathryn Dance series. Maybe I could relate to this character more if I read it from the first book, but so far, I don’t have the same kind of fondness to Dance as to Lincoln Rhyme.

Would I recommend this? Of course I will. Despite of the characterisation, I would still rate this book 4/5 for the story alone. So yes, if you like crime stories, you would like this one.

Law and Justice

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Mirna’s Case is now elevated to the next level as the Police Investigator has decided to change the status of one of the witnesses to ‘suspect’. J, the woman who has been under scrutiny for her so called suspicious attitude in front of the media was arrested and now detained.

J is now charge for a first degree murder — pembunuhan berencana or “planned murder” if it’s freely translated to Bahasa Indonesia. So, according to the police, J is responsible for (1) plan, and intention to murder, (2) execute the murder — successfully.

Many people are happy with this arrest, which is totally understandable as it is very much unsettling to have a murderer roaming around the city. However, there are many people believes that this arrest is premature, or some might say that it is unlawful. There is no physical evidence which link this woman to the murder itself — apart from her being in the crime scene.

There are at least three experts who disagreed with this arrest. No. None of them said that they think J is innocent, but they disagreed with how the police and the media has drive the public opinion into believing that she is guilty. Even with big media such as our national tv station, inviting the “body language experts”, saying in front of the audience that J’s smile means she’s lying and so on and so forth.

As a linguist, and a communication academia, I can say that what these experts said was totally and utterly rubbish.

These are other experts, which according my own opinion are worth listening. Listen to the logic, and if you have it, use your brain too…

1. Asep Iwan Iriawan
Asep Iwan Iriawan is a former judge and now an expert in judicial system. He believed that there is no link between J and the murder. Yes it is true that J was there when Mirna drank the coffee, and J was the first one who arrived at the scee. J threw away the trousers she wore that day, and she seemed so calm and smile in front of media. She is definitely suspicious.
But none of the think mentioned above — according to Asep, showed that J was the one who put cyanide in Mirna’s coffee. Even the CCTV — which is supposed to be the strongest evidence didn’t show that.
Asep even said as far as: “If I was the judge… with those [so-called] evidence, I’ll let her go”.
http://www.jpnn.com/read/2016/01/31/353935/Seribu-Alat-Bukti-juga-Percuma-
http://www.suara.com/news/2016/01/30/181024/ketika-dua-pakar-dan-mantan-hakim-berdebat-soal-kasus-mirna

2. Reza Indragiri Amriel
I haven’t heard about him before this case, but apparently he is a Forensic Psychologist. So, I trust him better than a hypnotherapist in this particular case. What does a hypnotherapist know about a murder case anyway… sigh. This country is sick.
As an expert Reza didn’t think that J is the murderer. He argued that cyanide is not a kind of poison anyone could acquire easily in Indonesia. Metro TV tried to do it on NSI programme, by sending some investigative journalist to buy cyanide from chemist and chemical store, with no avail. It is almost impossible for J, a girl who lives in australia to know her way in the city to get cyanide.
And, he’s also believes that any “body language experts” who jumped into a conclusion that when someone blinks it means that they’re lying, or if someone smiles it means that they’re hiding something… are bulshitting the public. I agree with him in this.
http://www.suara.com/news/2016/01/30/132934/psikolog-forensik-kasus-mirna-pembunuhan-berencana-salah-sasaran

3. Heru Susetyo
This is also the first time I heard about him, so I am not sure about his credibility. Apparently he is a Victimology Experts from Universitas Indonesia. Still a better credibility than a hypnotherapist in this particular murder case.
He said that the police investigators are reckless in confirming J as the suspect. He believed that as this case became big and that the media has blow this up to the surface, the police felt more and more pressure. The drama of this murder case has driven the police to a rush conclusion, while indeed in fact there’s no physical evidence linking J to anything.
He believes that J has been victimised both by the media and police officer because the society pushed them to solve this quickly.
http://www.suara.com/news/2016/01/30/145519/pakar-viktimologi-polisi-terlalu-buru-buru-tetapkan-tersangka

Mirna’s father, was the loudest to fight for justice for her daughter. It is completely understandable for a father to do that when his daughter died in such a way. But it has to be understood that he is emotional too — he might not be able to see this case rationally. That is why in any criminal investigation, there should never be any personal relationship between the investigator and the case they’re working on. It will be bias.

Like Mirna’s father, I’d like the justice to be served too. Definitely. But as a citizen of Indonesia, I would be wary if this is how the “justice” should be served. I would like the law to be upheld, so that everyone would be protected by it. It scares me that the public opinion could pressure the police officers to take whoever they have in hand as the suspect just to calm down the mob, and give fake closure to the family of the victim. It sounds like desperation for me.

I am not saying that J is not the murderer. But if it is her, I would like the investigation to be lawful, and not based on bogus experts opinion, and circumstantial evidences… not a strong ones either. I wish everybody the best… the justice’s served and the law upheld.

good luck.

When In Rome…

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My friends and I were talking about the woman who got arrested in Belgium for attacking a police officer when she was asked by the officer to take the full face veil off. It was not a recent news, but it was still a good topic for a deep conversation with your fellows. The premise is: Belgium bans any head gear which cover one’s face, and in this case it is called burqa (burka) in public spaces. And, that most of us in the conversation group believe that what Belgium (and France) has done by banning burqa in public space is a good preventative step to protect other citizen.

I said most, because… One of the fellow in the conversation group argues that the banning of burka is against the universal declaration of human rights. He quoted UDHR, articles 18 about the freedom of religion.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

I have to admit that I quite like the fact that he cited the UDHR. I mean, there are a lot of people who would utter their opinion while completely dismissing facts, evidence, or any supporting documents. What this guy did was basically trying to challenge my belief that banning burqa is actually a good thing.

So, is it true then? Is it true that France and Belgium has violate the universal declaration of human rights for banning burqa in public spaces? Because what he said is true, that the government has basically limit someone’s right to practice, and manifest her religion or believe in public. Well… partially true.

There’s one thing about RIGHTS that someone forgets. RIGHTS always come together with RESPONSIBILITIES. There is no such thing as the unlimited rights. It is limited, to a certain degree. And if you go a little bit further, you would be able to see the explanation of UDHR article 18 about the right to freedom of thought and religion:

Article 18
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions. respect the exclusive character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and the staff and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.

http://www.claiminghumanrights.org/thought_religion_definition.html

There you go. The guy in our discussion group only mentioned the first part of the article. He probably forgot that the third part of the article explained about how the rights could be limited, when it is needed to protect public safety, order, bla bla… and the fundamental rights and freedom of others.

In Belgium in particular, it is necessary for the police officer to ask the said woman to take her face veil off. Brussels had been in so much pressure lately. The city got locked down after the Paris attack, and almost every day you could see on the news that there are more and more radicalised group being arrested for planning terrorism. It is important for people in the country to be able to feel safe, and feel that the government is doing something.

The fact that so many terrorists were identified through CCTV makes it just sensible to ask people to show their face if they’re out in public. Isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Right. I am not going to make you agreeing with me, because that’s not what I am trying to do in here. I understand that some people has their very idea of what freedom is. I believe that there is no such thing as the unlimited freedom, even when you live alone in the jungle — you are still limited by the space of the jungle. All I say is that if you can’t live by the rule, you still have the freedom to move somewhere else where you can do what you want to do without breaking the law.

Isn’t that what many Indonesian has been doing all these time? Going abroad to get married because in Indonesia inter-religion marriage is not accepted? Isn’t that what many Irish people has been doing all these time? Going to England to get an abortion for the unwanted pregnancies? Isn’t that what many British people has been doing all these time? Going to Switzerland to get an assisted dignified death?

Isn’t it?

Prost.

Book Review: The Bone Collector

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Title: The Bone Collector

Author: Jeffery Deaver
Language: English
Format: Paperback

Review:

It was supposed to be Amelia Sachs last day of work in the field, but she had to be the first responder of the most grim crime she has ever seen in her life. The vistim hand was stripped to the bone before he died, and nobody knew who the unsub was.

I love crime stories. I have grown up with Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Marple, and Sherlock Holmes, and I always loved the thrill of whodunnit. I always loved the puzzle and for years been trying to read a more modern version of crime stories… And Jeffery Deaver was good.

The first Jeffery Deaver book I have encountered was The Blue Nowhere. It has been our little family’s favourite (or in this case my sisters and I, because my parents don’t read as much). Since then I always loved his works. And The Bone Collector hasn’t disappointed me at all.

Although I cannot say that I love the protagonists, I quite like how Deaver put them in the situations where the usual conflict of interests happen. I found the portrayal of the culprit however was way more interesting than the protagonists, and I found this very fascinating. I think crime stories is only as good as the cunningness of its bad guy.

 

It was quite easy to read. The only reason why it takes me a while to finish the book is probably because nowadays I only read before I go to bed. And I have been postponing this review for some times. I have a little problem with the dialogue, because Deaver use the “accented style” conversation. I don’t mind it as it might help to understand the characters better, but it was quite hard to understand for a non native speaker like me.

The storyline is quite engaging. I have to say I am not a big fan of POV-switching style as it could be confusing. But in this case, this is probably just the best way to introduce the mind of the criminal, and give a different depth to the depiction of the crime scene itself. I couldn’t imagine another way to do it.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves crime and thriller stories. I know that this is not a new book on the shelves, but if you haven’t read any Jeffery Deaver’s book, this is probably the best place to start. It has sequels too (I have read The Vanished Man, but it was translated in Bahasa Indonesia) that I couldn’t wait to get my hands to.

I scored this bool 4 out of 5 stars