February 24th, 2010

Elephant

The Bishop Case

There's been lots of attention in the media on the Bishop case and the fact that the alleged killer of three professors had a serious gun incident 24 years ago that the police and DA bungled. Of course these days the emphasis is on who to blame. To me I wonder if this is the tip of an iceberg. How many other cases are there where the various law enforcement agencies (local police - sometime more than one, state police, DA's office, FBI, ATF, etc.) all have a role in the investigation but don't share their information so that what really happened and what should be done never actually gets done properly. Sharing was much harder in 1986 - everything was on paper. I remember talking to the new Cambridge Police Commissioner in the early 90s who said that there were no personal computers in the department and not even many typewriters - everything was done by hand. When I was a juror on a 1992 homicide trial all the reports we saw was handwritten. Also, at least on TV shows, the various departments don't like to cooperate - and it is probably sometimes worse in reality.

I'd like to see some emphasis on investigating current practices and processes with the eye of improving them to enhance cooperation and sharing and evaluation of information instead of all the focus on figuring out who was to blame 24 years ago.