[lbo-talk] Lying

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Thu Aug 25 05:18:20 PDT 2011

I don't understand this myself, but an actual case might be useful.

Back in the '80s a local cop framed a black student for armed robbery. His lawyer couselled his family not to get outsiders involved. He was convicted. His mother worked at Eureka and new a woman there who belonged to our local political group. So we started making a fuss. Had a table in the student union, a few other things. Then the student, on bail awaiting sentencing, was arrested for burglary: he and another student were accused of breaking into an auto parked at a service station on a Sunday morning. I attended that trial. Apparently an audience really turned on the public defender, because he put on a rel Perry Mason show. The evidence consisted of one fingerprint on the back of the rear view mirror; the car had been wiped otherwise. It turned out that only the mirror itself had disappeared. There was only the apaper copy of the print. The judge gave a directed verdict of not guilty even before the defense put on its case. Later an appeals court reversed his robbery conviction. And now to the point.

This student lied almost reflexively. He lied about his address after having on an earlier form given the accurate address. He lied on all sorts of things -- most of which were unimportant. Apparently there are people, perhaps from particular backgrounds, who lie as a matter of course -- a sort of knee-jerk response.


P.S. For the record, he had been innocent on the robbery charge, for a reason out of folk myth: he had been cheating on his wife and had been with a woman in Chicago at the time of the robbery but didn't want to reveal that. He probably was guilgy of the burglary. In any case he transferred to Bradley U in Peoria, graduated, & the last we heard was doing very well. The cop framed him to get back for his beating a traffic ticket the cop had given him.

P.S. 2: We also learned from an acquaintance who was a lawyer at State Farm that the buzz in the local legal circles are that he would have been convicted if he hadn't had some "big guns" (sic) helping him.

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