A passage that struck me in Chapter 12 brought up the subject of planted evidence. Weinberg recalls Fredriani’s statement during an interrogation regarding his DNA under Helena’s nails:
“As far as DNA evidence, oh, I’m sure you’ve got some DNA evidence that probably points to me. Where you got it, how you got it, that’s a whole different matter. I’ve been in your custody for a long time.” (Weinberg, pg 335)
After these words, he addresses the likelihood that police planted his DNA at the crime scene in order to the close the case. I searched for how often cases of planted evidence are recognized and found a website with several examples of shady policework; surprisingly, very few criminal cases a year involve planted evidence. Usually the officers involved in evidence planting have a vendetta against their targets, who can range from high profile suspects to ex-girlfriends and wives. Regardless as to whether Fredriani’s DNA was planted, I am not particuarly surprised that such an action, which is legally a crime, would be committed especially concerning the runningtime for this case and a longstanding, powerful desire to see Fredriani brought to justice.
“Why would we want to plant evidence?”
“To close the case.” -(Weinberg 230)
While reading this chapter of Pointing From the Grave, Frediani’s interrogation by the police struck me. When asked why they would have his DNA, Paul claimed that the police must have planted evidence against him. Based off what I know about Paul and the case so far from the book, I do not think the officers involved with Frediani’s crimes framed him at all, but hearing about this type of tampering got me curious. After a quick google search on evidence planting, I found this article . The article does a good job explaining how it is very much unclear how often evidence is planted by cops. There are no agencies run by the government that look out for and track this type of injustice and it seems the only way people get caught is in the act itself. The New York City example from 2008 is fascinating based off of the guilty officer’s quote. He went on to testify that nothing will happen to the wrongly convicted, although he is being completely blind to the fact that these people he planted evidence on will have records of drug possession. Besides trying to meet an arrest quota, like the New York cop, some officers plant evidence for personal and vengeful reasons. The article mentions how a police sergeant planted meth in his ex wife’s car as an attempt to win custody of their kids. How can these types of evidence planting be stopped? Should there be more agencies that look into and monitor these falsehoods, or should policemen have no quotas and less pressure to meet a certain number of arrests?