Wednesday, September 20, 2023

US Justice Systems Much In The News: #1 Lethality Assessment Protocol

Posted by Peter Quennell

Maryland State training video, similar to many

1. Context

Too many US justice systems are locked in stone because of for example this:

There are 17,985 police agencies in the United States which include municipal police departments, county sheriff’s offices, state troopers,and federal law enforcement agencies.

Compare that to for example Italy where the forces are essentially two: the polizia and the carabinieri.

Plus US laws are often badly written. Plus most judges and prosecutors are elected or politically appointed, and so tend toward a hard line. Plus forced plea-bargains are endemic. Plus for-profit prisons lobby to keep the prisoner numbers enormous. 

And there are all those guns of course. Right now police recruitment is at a crisis point in many small towns which can only afford to pay peanuts - in the Gabby Petito murder case local cops were making an average of below $50,000.

Compare that with the median family income of the US: $74,580. In part this is because most Americans don’t much like or trust their cops and resent paying so much for them. (Generally inferior US education is also essentially locally funded on a shoestring.)

2. Lawsuit

The family of Gabby Petito are suing the Moab Utah police in part for not implementing a key system now saving many lives elsewhere. The state-level Lethality Assessment Protocols as described for Maryland above.

According to the family’s attorney, Moab City Police did not use a Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP) when they spoke with Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, during a traffic stop in August 2021.

The attorney said Moab police had agreed to implement the LAP in 2018, but that “Moab was not doing anything to employ the LAP at the time … Moab responded in Gabby’s case.”

The subject of a Lethality Assessment Protocol is the basis for [new state-level law] S.B.117 [for all forces].  The bill requires[all] Utah law enforcement agencies to ask a series of questions during a domestic violence call. The questions help determine whether the victim is at risk of lethal violence.

At Moab, Gabby was never asked those questions and a day or two later was murdered.

In fact Moab police has a domestic violence advisor on the force. There was/is a strong rule that she MUST be brought in. She would have asked those questions.

But the cops at the traffic stop who misread the situation ignored this.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/20/23 at 05:15 PM in Hoaxes Sollecito etc


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