Today’s Investigative Special Report – October 12, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “There May Be ‘No Consequences’ When Law Enforcement Deals With Habitual Criminals”

By Lawrence W. Daly
English: Huntsville Unit, Huntsville, TX Españ...
English: Huntsville Unit, Huntsville, TX Español: Unidad de Huntsville, Huntsville, TX (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Forensic Expert Senior Author
If you have listened to, watched, or read the multiple media venues available everyday there will be information about a habitual criminal committing a crime or being released due to a legal technicality.
Most habitual criminals have lived in the penitentiary system for most of their lives. Studies have concluded that the amount of time most criminals expend in prison is dependent upon the States in which they commit the crime. There are many States which have the “Three Strikes Your Out Law” which is to be considered when the habitual criminal commits the crime and if convicted calculated in his eventual sentencing. The information from many resources states that repeat criminals will expend the majority of their lives in the penitentiary system from their juvenile crimes to their current crimes.
Information obtained from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that violent offenders released from State prisons in 1992 served 48% of the sentence they had received – an average of 43 months of confinement, both jail and prison, on an average sentence of 89 months.
If the habitual criminal understands the amount of time they will receive in prison for committing a serious crime the theme of “No Consequences” is resounding. It is like rolling the dice when the criminal commits the crime as they know the system will have a difficult time in prosecuting them and if they do the police and prosecutors are required to put the facts and evidence together in order to prove they committed the crime.
The n
umber of criminals housed in prisons in the United States is the highest in the world. In 2008 there were 2.3 million individuals behind bars in the United States. In 2010 studies stated that 
US incarceration timeline
US incarceration timeline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
one out of three African Americans who are without high school diplomas are incarcerated.
In most States the use of determinate sentencing is applied when it comes to sentencing criminals. This provides specific minimums and maximums with guidelines that judges must follow. If you are a habitual offender then the maximum amount of time, you will receive increases as you commit major crimes and additional crimes, i.e., the more points criminals receive for committing specific crimes the length of prison time will increase.
Inside and outside the court system criminals continue to live the life of committing crimes. These crimes maybe minor or major and most habitual criminals find that their actions will bring about the theme of “No Consequences.” The reason the habitual criminal is able to commit crimes and avoid being sent back to prison is because they understand the reasonable doubt standard of the criminal justice system, which is necessary for the police and prosecution to prove they committed the crime.
When the habitual criminal commits the crime and then the police contact the potential perpetrator of the crime, the habitual criminal will generally do the following:
1.      Request an attorney, remaining silent until their attorneys arrive. In 70% of the cases where there is no physical, biological, or trace evidence and a lack of eye witnesses or a confession is obtain, than it is most likely that the police and prosecution will be unable to criminally charge the alleged perpetrator.
2.      Avoiding apprehension, knowing that for that specific moment the crime is committed and law enforcement is made aware of the crime and begin their investigation, the habitual criminal understands that if they are able to avoid apprehension the effort law enforcement will put into the investigation will diminish over time. The theory that the first 72 hours of identifying and apprehending the perpetrator is critical, has proven to be a relevant, intelligent, and proven theory.
3.      Leaving physical, biological, and trace evidence at the crime scene is minimal as the habitual criminal knows law enforcement when searching the crime scene will be collecting any and all evidence. The criminal understands that if they leave little to no evidence at a crime scene to link them to it, the police and prosecution will have a difficult time in prosecuting him.
4.      Avoiding being seen during the crime. Habitual criminals understand if they are seen committing the crime, then apprehension may be immediate. If there are no witnesses that can link the criminal to the crime scene, this will benefit the criminal from being prosecuted.
5.      Minimize the risk of being detected by committing the crime by themselves. Habitual criminals understand that if they commit the crime with someone else, the exposure they have placed themselves to, may come back on them. This cyclical situation may occur if their partner(s) in crime commit the crime and then are apprehended by law enforcement at a later time for the crime they committed with the habitual criminal or another crime they are involved in. The police are well versed in making criminals believe they have more evidence than they do and will work a perpetrator to disclose the other perpetrators by offering a leniency of some type or a future favor. Getting one criminal to turn on another criminal is not a new method and technique, therefore, law enforcement knows how to manipulate and motivate the criminal in cooperating.
6.      Habitual criminals are apprehended because they communicate to a friend, co-hort, family member, and others that they committed a specific crime. If the habitual criminal has learned his lesson from prior contacts with law enforcement, they are more likely not to communicate to others that they committed a crimes. The criminal knows that sooner or later someone will report them to law enforcement. Therefore, it is important not to trust anyone with specific information about the crime they committed, which could return them to the criminal justice system and potentially back to prison.
7.      Obtaining a competent and intelligent attorney. Habitual criminals understand from past contacts with the criminal justice system that obtaining an experienced criminal attorney may make the difference if the criminal is released from custody, prosecuted or ultimately convicted and returned to prison.
8.      Obtaining a competent and intelligent investigator. A former law enforcement investigator who has experience in investigating major crimes will be of significant value to assist the habitual criminal with their criminal charges. The investigator can assist the criminal and the attorney with contacting potential witnesses, and creating a hypothesis which will be utilized when the trial begins. The investigator in order to be of value must be competent, intelligent, thorough, complete, creative, and innovative in every aspect of the investigation. Failure to utilize these characteristics may cause the criminal to be returned to prison for the remainder of their life.
9.      The habitual criminal knows that if criminally charged and prosecuted they may be 
FBI Criminal Justice Information Services.
FBI Criminal Justice Information Services. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
unable to testify for the jury to hear their testimony. If the criminal testifies all of his past prior crimes may come in preview to the jury, which will definitely diminish his credibility. The theme “who will you believe the law enforcement officer or the criminal” is a reliable and credible statement. Juries for the most part have seen a CSI television show and understand that they are not hearing all of the information about the case, especially about and from the criminal. The jury also understands that if the criminal doesn’t testify there is something which the criminal is trying to keep hidden. There will be an instruction by the judge that they, the jury, should not take into account, things which are not in evidence, and the criminal has the right to or not to testify and nothing should be taken into consideration for his decision.
The habitual criminal understands that if caught in committing a crime there may be “No Consequences” for their actions. They understand that the criminal justice system has a burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they committed the crime inside or outside of prison. Therefore, it is a necessary requirement that law enforcement conduct a competent and intelligent investigation.  Failure to do anything less than a complete and thorough investigation maybe the reason for a habitual criminal to escape prosecution and ultimately imprisonment.
Habitual criminals know the consequences, but if of average intelligence, they also know that the police and prosecution will have a difficult time proving they committed the crime if they use good judgment, common sense, and understand during the commission of the crime, that their actions may cause them to be either convicted, or not convicted.

                       Lawrence W. Daly
Kent, WA

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