標籤彙整: 司法

《魔谷奇案(Devil’s Knot)》

Devil's Knot Film Poster
(from Wikipedia;Fair Use/Fair Dealing)

不妨開門見山,套戲麻麻。

以如此一件真人真事、又已公認為冤案的事件作題材,又想拍成懸疑風,幾乎是不可能的任務;而若要拍成法庭戲,本案的重點正是警方辦案草率,審訊又充滿偏見,很多發現其實都是初審結案後多年來慢慢浮現的,初審本身就不大刺激;如果將那些發現都塞進初審(本片卒之亦有部份如此),審訊結果又似乎太太太過不合理;若要發掘人物內心,角色又似乎過多,而且本片得兩小時,篇幅不夠。

唯一可取,或許是其結構。開首小部份,完全是以「敘述性詭計」形式拍,將事實大量剪裁,以控方的版本呈現;後來再逐步加入真相的其餘部份,算是模仿控辯證案的結構吧。頗適合這部戲。

但理想的形式,其實不是拍成這樣的「奇案片」,而是實實在在的拍成紀錄片,長篇、系列紀錄片。這正是本片最失敗之處,因為這件案早已經拍成橫跨十多年推出,共三集的紀錄片系列,亦是推動替案中三名被告翻案的主力!(第一集第二集第三集。)

其中第三集,前年的HKIFF有選播過,所以幾年前已留意過這件案了。我當時看完戲後如此說:

Sam Hau ‏@samhau83
《失樂園3之煉獄篇(Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory)》:這是以電影追尋公義、以電影影響真實世界的故事;部份時間,總結前兩集(十數年)內容,明快;這是思考公義、思考司法及執法制度的電影;非常精彩有意思的紀錄片。 #hkiff #超短影評
10:33 PM – 15 Apr 2012
(自行貼多一次內容,當是備份。)

正是如此,雖然今次這部電影不怎麼好看,但我仍會推薦:以這部戲為引子,去發掘一下關於「the West Memphis Three」這件案的事,細想一下有關執法、司法、死刑等的問題。

三名被告--Damien Echols、Jessie Misskelley, Jr.和Jason Baldwin--在初審時分別被判死刑、終生加四十年監禁和終生監禁。

案發於1993年,初審定罪於1994年,其後多年輾轉上訴不果;到2007年,發現關鍵證據再入稟要求重審;2010年,州最高法院敕令下級法院重新檢視案中多項新證據,及初審首席陪審員的不當行為;2011年,控辯雙方達成認罪協議,三名被告會接受「阿福認罪(亂譯;Alford plea)」。

所謂「阿福認罪」,源於一宗「阿福案(North Carolina v. Alford」,其意思是指:被告堅稱無辜,但承認控方有「充分」證據入罪,故為免審訊後定罪刑罰更重,無奈被迫認罪。--明明無做,但都被迫要認罪,無辜受罰,真係等如做咗一趟「福頭」、「傻仔」一樣。

其實據本案當時的發展,連控方亦承認,若然重審根本很難入罪,被告脫罪後反可控告政府非法禁錮,索取鉅額賠償--如此結果,州政府最有利,可保存顏面,又避免賠錢。

而被告為何又會接受呢?要在獄中繼續等候重審、壓力、疲倦… 可以「估」很多理由,不過其中一名被告說的理由最震撼:

“Not all of the three welcomed the deal. During the 1994 trial, prosecutors offered to reduce Mr. Baldwin’s sentence if he pleaded guilty and testified against Mr. Echols. He refused then and initially resisted this deal, insisting as a matter of principle that he would not plead guilty to something he did not do.

But, he said, his refusing this deal would have meant Mr. Echols stayed on death row.

This was not justice," he said of the deal. “However, they’re trying to kill Damien.“" (emphasis added)
Campbell Robertson, “Deal Frees ‘West Memphis Three’ in Arkansas," The New York Times, August 19, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/us/20arkansas.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all

此案調查之草率混亂、審訊過程之偏頗不當,簡直可當作典型例子。三名被告「阿福認罪」,完全是逼於形勢、無奈之舉,並不公義。雖然此案發生在美國,但其實同樣不公之事,可以發生在任何地方,實在堪以為鑑。

在調查及原審時,涉及警察不當盤問、誘導犯人,又「影響」證人以羅織「證據」,都值得細想。尤其可再考慮,究竟是否仍要容許犯人自白用作證據

==

簡單評分:

C(☆☆☆)

符水殺人事件

“Thanks, I appreciate it, but did you also sacrifice a goat?"
Daniel C. Dennett, “THANK GOODNESS!" Edge.org, November 2, 2006. http://www.edge.org/conversation/thank-goodness

2006年,哲學家Dan Dennett因大動脈撕裂入院,接受緊急手術康復後,寫了一篇(在無神論者間)很有名的<THANK GOODNESS!>。Dan Dennett除了表達對醫護人員、醫學、科學的感激之外,當然也免不了拿宗教調侃一下。事源Dan Dennett(竟然)尚有一些教徒朋友,在探病時告訴他曾為他祈禱;Dan Dennett謂自己忍著不出言嘲諷,當時吞下肚的正是上面那一句。

(為病者祈禱不但無聊,甚至有害!
 有研究[1]發現,如病人知道有人替自己祈禱,會增加發生併發症的機會。)

為已接受正當治療的病人祈禱,雖然迷信,還可說是一番心意,害處不大。(引上述研究,只要不告訴病人就好;你私下想做甚麼,誰管得著?)然而,妄想以祈禱治病,那就是明顯有害了!跟勸人飲符水、搵神醫,毫無分別。

有自主能力的成年人,若墮入此等無稽迷信,最終受害,也只能怪自己愚昧,後果應自負。不用想得太複雜,用最簡單直觀的想法就能破除此迷信:如果祈禱就能治病,那所有教徒都應該身體健康、長命百歲吧!如果祈禱就能治病,有這麼便宜經濟的方法,老早就不用有醫生了吧!

事實是,所謂「神蹟」,全都是不能重複的巧合,甚至只是騙局,不足為憑,完全沒有相信的理由。(當然亦有「安慰劑效應(Placebo Effect)」、誤診等等… 各種各樣的可能,但總之都是毫不神奇的原因。)

成年人怎麼做是一回事,一般而言也不用理會,有病不看醫生,有甚麼後果都是自找的。(如果是嚴重傳染病,那是另一回事;如果有影響他人的可能,則不能只顧個人的選擇自由,也要保障他人不受其愚行所累。)

令人擔憂的,是有父母以這種所謂「信仰治療(Faith Healing)(我照本宣科,緊跟原文;如果讓我自由發揮,應該叫「迷信治療」、「妄想治療」才對。)代替正統醫學,令子女得不到適當治療。從客觀的角度看,其實已經相當於疏忽照顧、虐兒了。

關於這一點,就扯到神秘的美國了。這實在是個奇怪的國度:科學、科技發展的一面,固然令人印象深刻;但其迷信、落後的一面,也絕對超乎想像。

在美國,關於防止虐兒的聯邦法例有這麼一條--《Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act》。我也懶得慢慢介紹,反正維基的內容都很詳盡,我也不過是讀過同樣的資料而已。

有趣的部份,是這一段:

“(a) In general
Nothing in this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter shall be construed—
(1) as establishing a Federal requirement that a parent or legal guardian provide a child any medical service or treatment against the religious beliefs of the parent or legal guardian; and
(2) to require that a State find, or to prohibit a State from finding, child abuse or neglect in cases in which a parent or legal guardian relies solely or partially upon spiritual means rather than medical treatment, in accordance with the religious beliefs of the parent or legal guardian.
(b) State requirement
Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a State shall, at a minimum, have in place authority under State law to permit the child protective services system of the State to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, to provide medical care or treatment for a child when such care or treatment is necessary to prevent or remedy serious harm to the child, or to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatment from children with life threatening conditions. Except with respect to the withholding of medically indicated treatments from disabled infants with life threatening conditions, case by case determinations concerning the exercise of the authority of this subsection shall be within the sole discretion of the State."
42 USC § 5106i

簡而言之,其效果就是令迷信的父母有豁免權,即使不帶子女看醫生,只依賴所謂「信仰治療」,也不會被控告虐兒。

再舉一個實例可能更清楚。

這是威斯康辛州(Wisconsin)的相關法例:

“Treatment through prayer. A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing permitted under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4. or 448.03 (6) in lieu of medical or surgical treatment."
Wisconsin Stat. § 948.03(6)

這樣荒謬的法例,最初究竟是怎麼通過的呢?我暫無此心力一一探究,但推斷可能是以「宗教/信仰自由」為借口吧[2](尤其在因為在美國,宗教/信仰自由似乎是頗惹火的題目。一方面,憲法明文保障宗教自由,但其實只能管制政府行為,民風未改。只看政客取態就明白得很:有幾多總統、州長、議員不是[聲稱]耶教徒?我懶得統計,但提供一則趣聞。美國眾議院第一位公開的無神論者議員,叫Pete Stark,他是在2007年才「出櫃」的;也就是說,起碼在2007年前,歷任所有眾議院議員,都[自稱]有某種信仰。(當然多數就是耶教,難道你以為會是回教嗎?)

其實這理由實在不堪一擊。

雖然父母有宗教/信仰自由,有教養子女的權利,但任何人的自由和權利,均不能凌駕他人(子女)的人身安全。你自己怎樣迷信是一回事,但將你的迷信強加於子女身上,危害子女的安全、健康、福祉,這就不能容忍。

(另外,如上文曾提到,如果是對社會有危害的傳染病等情況,自也不容個人迷信的自由,凌駕公眾健康、安全。[3]

我可不是危言聳聽,有真人真事為證。

2008年,在威斯康辛州,有一名十一歲的女童Madeline Kara Neumann身體不適,其父母相信所謂「信仰治療」,只是替她祈禱(及求親友替她祈禱);病情轉趨嚴重,但父母仍照舊祈禱,最終女童失救夭折。

後來,父母被控二級魯莽殺人(second-degree reckless homicide)[直譯,不敢造次;雖然我覺得所謂「魯莽殺人」可能類近「誤殺」,但美國法制複雜,又分「一級」、「二級」不知道有沒有「三級」、「四級」,跟香港差別太大,未深入瞭解,還是直譯為宜。]父母分開受審,同被陪審團定罪。後上訴。

上訴的要點之一,是上引的「『信仰治療』豁免被控虐兒」條文,是否適用於「二級魯莽殺人」條文。

2013年7月3日,威斯康辛州最高法院(Wisconsin Supreme Court)頒下判詞,維持原判。(該判詞十級複雜,看得我頭暈眼花,暫時還是不要勉強摘錄「欣賞」了。不過,當中有一句我認為會是名句,以下將引用。)撰寫多數判詞的首席大法官Shirley Abrahamson如是說:

“No one reading the treatment-through-prayer provision should expect protection from criminal liability under any other statute."
State v. Neumann, 2013 WI 58, ¶50.

此案絕非孤例。

「信仰治療」的維基專頁,引述了美國癌病學會(American Cancer Society)一段文字,當中提過一些研究結果,不妨也在此引述:

One review published in 1998 looked at 172 cases of deaths among children treated by faith healing instead of conventional methods. These researchers estimated that if conventional treatment had been given, the survival rate for most of these children would have been more than 90 percent, with the remainder of the children also having a good chance of survival. A more recent study found that more than 200 children had died of treatable illnesses in the United States over the past thirty years because their parents relied on spiritual healing rather than conventional medical treatment.
Although there are few studies in adults, one study conducted in 1989 suggested that adult Christian Scientists, who generally use prayer rather than medical care, have a higher death rate than other people of the same age." (emphasis added)
American Cancer Society. “Faith Healing." Last modified January 17, 2013. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/faith-healing

美國,當然離香港頗遠;但觀乎近年香港耶教大盛,而一般人對科學也未見重視,實令人擔憂此歪風在香港萌芽、以至生根。若發展到那地步,則已病入膏肓。

在香港,相信符水、香爐灰能治病的人想已不多,大部份人會嗤之以鼻,甚至會理直氣壯的斥之為落後迷信。(但也難說… 「性交驅鬼」、「性交轉運」也有人相信,有時候… 現代人的迷信反智,往往出人意料。)但同樣無稽的迷信,換一個包裝,以乜教物教的姿態出現,就有不少人受落,奉為真理。實在令人失笑。

--
注:

[1] Benson, H.; Dusek JA, Sherwood JB, Lam P, Bethea CF, Carpenter W, Levitsky S, Hill PC, Clem DW Jr, Jain MK, Drumel D, Kopecky SL, Mueller PS, Marek D, Rollins S, Hibberd PL (2006-04). “Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: a multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer“. American Heart Journal 151 (4): 934–942. doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2005.05.028. PMID 16569567.

[2] 其實我找到一篇文章約略提過,但不清楚詳情如何:

“Statutory exemptions which protect parents who practice spiritual healing are of fairly recent vintage. Ironically, they did not exist in most states prior to the enactment of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974. Due in part to lobbying by the Christian Science Church, this federal law was interpreted to require states to amend their child abuse and neglect statutes to include an exemption for spiritual healing. If states failed to amend their statutes to include such exemptions, they would be ineligible to receive the funds appropriated by Congress to fulfill the intent of the Act — i.e., to establish preventative programs to reduce the incidence of child abuse." (emphasis added)
Monopoli, Paula A. (1990) “Allocating the Costs of Parental Free Exercise: Striking a New Balance Between Sincere Religious Belief and a Child’s Right to Medical Treatment." Pepperdine Law Review 18, 319.

[3] 美國最高法院另一宗案例--Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944),有一段令人印象深刻的說話(當然,其實是因為其看法跟我相同;是有點私心的,哈哈。)。法官Wiley Blount Rutledge, Jr.撰寫的判詞如是說:

“[T]he family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty. Reynolds v. United States, 98 U. S. 145; Davis v. Beason, 133 U. S. 333. And neither rights of religion nor rights of parenthood are beyond limitation. Acting to guard the general interest in youth’s wellbeing, the state, as parens patriae, may restrict the parent’s control by requiring school attendance, regulating or prohibiting the child’s labor and in many other ways. Its authority is not nullified merely because the parent grounds his claim to control the child’s course of conduct on religion or conscience. Thus, he cannot claim freedom from compulsory vaccination for the child more than for himself on religious grounds. The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death. People v. Pierson, 176 N.Y. 201, 68 N.E. 243. The catalogue need not be lengthened. It is sufficient to show what indeed appellant hardly disputes, that the state has a wide range of power for limiting parental freedom and authority in things affecting the child’s welfare, and that this includes, to some extent, matters of conscience and religious conviction."
Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166-167 (1944) (Opinion of RUTLEDGE, J.)

“Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion when they can make that choice for themselves."
Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 170 (1944) (Opinion of RUTLEDGE, J.)

「對,XX是我殺的。」(嗎?)

凶手自白:「對,XX是我殺的。」

如果是推理小說,犯人被偵探揭破詭計後,通常都會認輸自白。按不同故事類型,可能也會有「真情剖白」環節。然後,可能會自殺(例如:《犬神家の一族》中的… 凶手。[這麼輕微地爆料就放過我吧…]),也有的會移送法辦(當然是刑警類型小說的首選。)。既然犯人都自白了,讀者當然心滿意足。(除非發現手中小說只過了一半,那當然代表事有蹺蹊,真凶可能另有其人,又或背後另有隱情。)

不過,小說歸小說,犯人的自白(Confession),可不是這麼隨便的事情。

「自白」,向來都是將疑犯入罪的利器:「疑犯自己都招認了,還有甚麼好爭辯的呢?」

之所以,從小看古裝片,中國古代奸官酷吏都有將犯人「屈打成招」的傳統。甚麼「拶指(夾手指)」、「夾棍(夾腿)」,都是看古裝片常見的。

(話分兩頭,「拶」、「夾」,理論上是較重的逼供方法,不是查一般鼠竊狗偷案件可以用的。見:

「《大清律例‧刑律‧斷獄上》有關「不合拷訊者」的規定同於《大明律》。清律規定訊囚用杖每日不過三十,但「熱審得用掌嘴、跪鍊等刑,強盜人命酌用夾棍,婦人拶指,通不得過二次。」 刑訊除了用杖外,尚有掌嘴、跪鍊、夾棍、拶指等。特別是夾拶為刑之極重者,不得輕用,而且只有三法司、督撫、按察使、正印官得以酌用夾棍,其餘大小衙門不許擅用。」
陳俊強 1999/01,〈刑訊制度〉,收入高明士主編《唐律與國家社會研究》台北:五南圖書,頁403~437。作者網址:http://web.ntpu.edu.tw/~chanck/

 該文有趣,讀者宜參看。)

時至今日,我們當然不容這種取證方法。

如果有看美國警匪片,必然聽過一段非常有名的警誡詞--「Miranda Warning」,大致相當於港產警匪片中會聽到的「唔係事必要你講」警誡詞。

這段說話,其實源於一件案Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

時任首席大法官Earl Warren撰寫的判詞很精彩,我摘錄了一部份附於文後[注1]

簡單來說,Earl Warren認為憲法第五修正案所保障的,是非常根本且重要的憲法權利;任何人,都不應因為對法律無知、沒有能力徵詢法律意見等原因,而被剝奪或削弱這權利。(當然,憲法第五修正案所保障的權利不僅「免於自我入罪」的權利,但本案的重點則在於此。)

故此,法院要求執法人員向疑犯問話前,要警告疑犯:可行使「保持緘默(Right to silence)」的權利,並可要求律師陪同,如果無能力聘請律師,則可獲委派律師。

不過,要求執法人員警誡疑犯並不是新鮮事。早在1912年,英國就有一份叫《Judges’ Rules》的指引,都有類近的要求。要求執法者(或所有公權力/機關)對待疑犯時,要遵循正常(法律)程序(Due Process),當然比古代的嚴刑逼供進步得多,也體現了社會對人權日益重視、尊重。

然而,我所想的,是我們能否再進一步?

第一點,當然是「自白/招供」的內在風險。

就算有多重的制度保障,制度仍有可能出錯、也可能被扭曲、也會有各種不幸或不當的因素影響,而導致「虛假招認(False Confession)」。維基頁的資料很詳盡,我或不花太多筆墨重複抄寫。

簡單而言,就算執法人員完全依足指引,在盤問時仍可用不同技巧,對疑犯施以心理壓力,令無辜的人也可能「自願招認」。比如一種北美執法人員常用的Reid Technique,就被評有此風險,甚至有電視紀錄片探討過這問題。

Innocence Project統計,在他們經手處理的冤案當中,有達四份一曾作過「虛假招認」或「令自己入罪的供詞」。讀者可到該計劃的網頁詳看。

另外一種問話技倆稱為「Bluff Technique」。問話者向疑犯謊稱已握有證據,但不明確表示究竟是可令疑犯入罪或脫罪的證據。聽起來似乎不壞,但研究發現,即使是這種看似無害的技倆,其實也很可能令無辜者「招認」。(見:Jennifer T. Perillo & Saul M. Kassin. “Inside interrogation: The lie, the bluff, and false confessions," Law and Human Behavior, Vol 35(4), Aug 2011, 327-337. doi: 10.1007/s10979-010-9244-2

第二點,其實向疑犯問話,其後以此為檢控之證據,本身是否已經不公平?

試想像一個被捕人,無論他/她實際上是無辜或有罪也好,被拘捕、被扣留、被問話,必然是一個令人緊張、徬徨的狀況;在這情況下所作的決定,其實很難令人衷心信服是經深思熟慮的「自願」行為,多少都有受當時的環境所催逼。

就算被捕人是真正的犯人,所作的招認內容都真確無誤,但究竟是當時的環境令他招認,還是他/她在正常情況底下、在一般的精神狀況底下,都會作出同樣的「自願」選擇?其實疑犯「事後反悔」,想推翻之前所說的口供,本身已令人懷疑所謂「自願」(即使沒有其他威嚇、壓迫)的程度有多少。

如果某疑犯原來是真正的犯人,也有心招認,有心承擔罪責,在案件後續的任何階段,也可以認罪。無論有沒有疑犯的招認,這一點應該沒甚麼影響。為甚麼要依賴「自白/招認」這種不可靠的證據?

從保障人權的角度看,其實是否應該廢止「自白/招認」作為檢控證據?

我未有肯定的看法,但傾向贊成不再依賴「自白/招認」。

--

注1:

“At the outset, if a person in custody is to be subjected to interrogation, he must first be informed in clear and unequivocal terms that he has the right to remain silent. For those unaware of the privilege, the warning is needed simply to make them aware of it – the threshold requirement for an intelligent decision as to its exercise. More important, such a warning is an absolute prerequisite in overcoming the inherent pressures of the interrogation atmosphere. It is not just the subnormal or woefully ignorant who succumb to an interrogator’s imprecations, whether implied or expressly stated, that the interrogation will continue until a confession is obtained or that silence in the face of accusation is itself damning and will bode ill when presented to a jury. Further, the warning will show the individual that his interrogators are prepared to recognize his privilege should he choose to exercise it.

The Fifth Amendment privilege is so fundamental to our system of constitutional rule and the expedient of giving an adequate warning as to the availability of the privilege so simple, we will not pause to inquire in individual cases whether the defendant was aware of his rights without a warning being given. Assessments of the knowledge the defendant possessed, based on information as to his age, education, intelligence, or prior contact with authorities, can never be more than speculation; a warning is a clearcut fact. More important, whatever the background of the person interrogated, a warning at the time of the interrogation is indispensable to overcome its pressures and to insure that the individual knows he is free to exercise the privilege at that point in time.

The warning of the right to remain silent must be accompanied by the explanation that anything said can and will be used against the individual in court. This warning is needed in order to make him aware not only of the privilege, but also of the consequences of forgoing it. It is only through an awareness of these consequences that there can be any assurance of real understanding and intelligent exercise of the privilege. Moreover, this warning may serve to make the individual more acutely aware that he is faced with a phase of the adversary system – that he is not in the presence of persons acting solely in his interest.

The circumstances surrounding in-custody interrogation can operate very quickly to overbear the will of one merely made aware of his privilege by his interrogators. Therefore, the right to have counsel present at the interrogation is indispensable to the protection of the Fifth Amendment privilege under the system we delineate today. Our aim is to assure that the individual’s right to choose between silence and speech remains unfettered throughout the interrogation process. A once-stated warning, delivered by those who will conduct the interrogation, cannot itself suffice to that end among those who most require knowledge of their rights. A mere warning given by the interrogators is not alone sufficient to accomplish that end. Prosecutors themselves claim that the admonishment of the right to remain silent without more “will benefit only the recidivist and the professional." Brief for the National District Attorneys Association as amicus curiae, p. 14. Even preliminary advice given to the accused by his own attorney can be swiftly overcome by the secret interrogation process. Cf. Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 485 , n. 5. Thus, the need for counsel to protect the Fifth Amendment privilege comprehends not merely a right to consult with counsel prior to questioning, but also to have counsel present during any questioning if the defendant so desires.

The presence of counsel at the interrogation may serve several significant subsidiary functions as well. If the accused decides to talk to his interrogators, the assistance of counsel can mitigate the dangers of untrustworthiness. With a lawyer present the likelihood that the police will practice coercion is reduced, and if coercion is nevertheless exercised the lawyer can testify to it in court. The presence of a lawyer can also help to guarantee that the accused gives a fully accurate statement to the police and that the statement is rightly reported by the prosecution at trial. See Crooker v. California, 357 U.S. 433, 443 -448 (1958) (DOUGLAS, J., dissenting).

An individual need not make a pre-interrogation request for a lawyer. While such request affirmatively secures his right to have one, his failure to ask for a lawyer does not constitute a waiver. No effective waiver of the right to counsel during interrogation can be recognized unless specifically made after the warnings we here delineate have been given. The accused who does not know his rights and therefore does not make a request may be the person who most needs counsel. As the California Supreme Court has aptly put it:

“Finally, we must recognize that the imposition of the requirement for the request would discriminate against the defendant who does not know his rights. The defendant who does not ask for counsel is the very defendant who most needs counsel. We cannot penalize a defendant who, not understanding his constitutional rights, does not make the formal request and by such failure demonstrates his helplessness. To require the request would be to favor the defendant whose sophistication or status had fortuitously prompted him to make it." People v. Dorado, 62 Cal. 2d 338, 351, 398 P.2d 361, 369-370, 42 Cal. Rptr. 169, 177-178 (1965) (Tobriner, J.).

In Carnley v. Cochran, 369 U.S. 506, 513 (1962), we stated: “[I]t is settled that where the assistance of counsel is a constitutional requisite, the right to be furnished counsel does not depend on a request." This proposition applies with equal force in the context of providing counsel to protect an accused’s Fifth Amendment privilege in the face of interrogation. Although the role of counsel at trial differs from the role during interrogation, the differences are not relevant to the question whether a request is a prerequisite.

Accordingly we hold that an individual held for interrogation must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation under the system for protecting the privilege we delineate today. As with the warnings of the right to remain silent and that anything stated can be used in evidence against him, this warning is an absolute prerequisite to interrogation. No amount of circumstantial evidence that the person may have been aware of this right will suffice to stand in its stead: Only through such a warning is there ascertainable assurance that the accused was aware of this right.

If an individual indicates that he wishes the assistance of counsel before any interrogation occurs, the authorities cannot rationally ignore or deny his request on the basis that the individual does not have or cannot afford a retained attorney. The financial ability of the individual has no relationship to the scope of the rights involved here. The privilege against self-incrimination secured by the Constitution applies to all individuals. The need for counsel in order to protect the privilege exists for the indigent as well as the affluent. In fact, were we to limit these constitutional rights to those who can retain an attorney, our decisions today would be of little significance. The cases before us as well as the vast majority of confession cases with which we have dealt in the past involve those unable to retain counsel. While authorities are not required to relieve the accused of his poverty, they have the obligation not to take advantage of indigence in the administration of justice. Denial of counsel to the indigent at the time of interrogation while allowing an attorney to those who can afford one would be no more supportable by reason or logic than the similar situation at trial and on appeal struck down in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), and Douglas v. California, 372 U.S. 353 (1963).

In order fully to apprise a person interrogated of the extent of his rights under this system then, it is necessary to warn him not only that he has the right to consult with an attorney, but also that if he is indigent a lawyer will be appointed to represent him. Without this additional warning, the admonition of the right to consult with counsel would often be understood as meaning only that he can consult with a lawyer if he has one or has the funds to obtain one. The warning of a right to counsel would be hollow if not couched in terms that would convey to the indigent – the person most often subjected to interrogation – the knowledge that he too has a right to have counsel present. As with the warnings of the right to remain silent and of the general right to counsel, only by effective and express explanation to the indigent of this right can there be assurance that he was truly in a position to exercise it.

Once warnings have been given, the subsequent procedure is clear. If the individual indicates in any manner, at any time prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease. At this point he has shown that he intends to exercise his Fifth Amendment privilege; any statement taken after the person invokes his privilege cannot be other than the product of compulsion, subtle or otherwise. Without the right to cut off questioning, the setting of in-custody interrogation operates on the individual to overcome free choice in producing a statement after the privilege has been once invoked. If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning. If the individual cannot obtain an attorney and he indicates that he wants one before speaking to police, they must respect his decision to remain silent.

This does not mean, as some have suggested, that each police station must have a “station house lawyer" present at all times to advise prisoners. It does mean, however, that if police propose to interrogate a person they must make known to him that he is entitled to a lawyer and that if he cannot afford one, a lawyer will be provided for him prior to any interrogation. If authorities conclude that they will not provide counsel during a reasonable period of time in which investigation in the field is carried out, they may refrain from doing so without violating the person’s Fifth Amendment privilege so long as they do not question him during that time."
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 467-474 (1966) (Opinion of WARREN, J.)

文抄:Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503, 505-507 (1969)

「言論自由」的「言論」,是否只限於「文字」?

早陣子看過Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397(請參看舊文:<文抄:Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 419-420 (1989)>,意猶未盡,順藤摸瓜,追蹤其思路起源。

先不厭其煩地再從Texas v. Johnson詳引一大段:

“Johnson was convicted of flag desecration for burning the flag rather than for uttering insulting words. 2 This fact somewhat complicates our consideration of his conviction under the First Amendment. We must first determine whether Johnson’s burning of the flag constituted expressive conduct, permitting him to invoke the First Amendment in challenging his conviction. See, e. g., Spence v. Washington, 418 U.S. 405, 409 -411 (1974). If his conduct was expressive, we next decide whether the State’s regulation is related to the suppression of free expression. See, e. g., United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367, 377 (1968); Spence, supra, at 414, n. 8. If the State’s regulation is not related to expression, then the less stringent standard we announced in United States v. O’Brien for regulations of noncommunicative conduct controls. See O’Brien, supra, at 377. If it is, then we are outside of O’Brien‘s test, and we must ask whether this interest justifies Johnson’s conviction under a more demanding standard. 3 See Spence, supra, at 411. A third possibility is that the State’s asserted interest is simply not implicated on these facts, and in that event the interest drops out of the picture. See 418 U.S., at 414 , n. 8.

簡單說,就是要先裁定Johnson「燒國旗」的行為,是否一種「表達(某種訊息)」的行為,然後再視察州政府的法令是否限制其行為,云云。

The First Amendment literally forbids the abridgment only of “speech," but we have long recognized that its protection does not end at the spoken or written word. While we have rejected “the view that an apparently limitless variety of conduct can be labeled `speech’ whenever the person engaging in the conduct intends thereby to express an idea," United States v. O’Brien, supra, at 376, we have acknowledged that conduct may be “sufficiently imbued with elements of communication to fall within the scope of the First and Fourteenth Amendments," Spence, supra, at 409.

這段是重中之中。

雖然《憲法第一修正案》在字面上只禁止限制「言論」,但法院早已確立其保障並不限於「口頭或書面字句」。

In deciding whether particular conduct possesses sufficient communicative elements to bring the First Amendment into play, we have asked whether “[a]n intent to convey a particularized message was present, and [whether] the likelihood was great that the message would be understood by those who viewed it." 418 U.S., at 410 -411. Hence, we have recognized the expressive nature of students’ wearing of black armbands to protest American military involvement in Vietnam, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 505 (1969); of a sit-in by blacks in a “whites only" area to protest segregation, Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131, 141 -142 (1966); of the wearing of American military uniforms in a dramatic presentation criticizing American involvement in Vietnam, Schacht v. United States, 398 U.S. 58 (1970); and of picketing about a wide variety of causes, see, e. g., Food Employees v. Logan Valley Plaza, Inc., 391 U.S. 308, 313 -314 (1968); United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171, 176 (1983).
Especially pertinent to this case are our decisions recognizing the communicative nature of conduct relating to flags. Attaching a peace sign to the flag, Spence, supra, at 409-410; refusing to salute the flag, Barnette, 319 U.S., at 632 ; and displaying a red flag, Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, 368-369 (1931), we have held, all may find shelter under the First Amendment. See also Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 566, 588 (1974) (WHITE, J., concurring in judgment) (treating flag “contemptuously" by wearing pants with small flag sewn into their seat is expressive conduct). That we have had little difficulty identifying an expressive element in conduct relating to flags should not be surprising. The very purpose of a national flag is to serve as a symbol of our country; it is, one might say, “the one visible manifestation of two hundred years of nationhood." Id., at 603 (REHNQUIST, J., dissenting). Thus, we have observed:

[‘][T]he flag salute is a form of utterance. Symbolism is a primitive but effective way of communicating ideas. The use of an emblem or flag to symbolize some system, idea, institution, or personality, is a short cut from mind to mind. Causes and nations, political parties, lodges and ecclesiastical groups seek to knit the loyalty of their followings to a flag or banner, a color or design.[‘] Barnette, supra, at 632.

Pregnant with expressive content, the flag as readily signifies this Nation as does the combination of letters found in “America."
We have not automatically concluded, however, that any action taken with respect to our flag is expressive. Instead, in characterizing such action for First Amendment purposes, we have considered the context in which it occurred. In Spence, for example, we emphasized that Spence’s taping of a peace sign to his flag was “roughly simultaneous with and concededly triggered by the Cambodian incursion and the Kent State tragedy." 418 U.S., at 410 . The State of Washington had conceded, in fact, that Spence’s conduct was a form of communication, and we stated that “the State’s concession is inevitable on this record." Id., at 409.

以上一大段,是引用及討論案例。如有興趣,當可一一查看。

The State of Texas conceded for purposes of its oral argument in this case that Johnson’s conduct was expressive conduct, Tr. of Oral Arg. 4, and this concession seems to us as prudent as was Washington’s in Spence. Johnson burned an American flag as part – indeed, as the culmination – of a political demonstration that coincided with the convening of the Republican Party and its renomination of Ronald Reagan for President. The expressive, overtly political nature of this conduct was both intentional and overwhelmingly apparent. At his trial, Johnson explained his reasons for burning the flag as follows: “The American Flag was burned as Ronald Reagan was being renominated as President. And a more powerful statement of symbolic speech, whether you agree with it or not, couldn’t have been made at that time. It’s quite a just position [juxtaposition]. We had new patriotism and no patriotism." 5 Record 656. In these circumstances, Johnson’s burning of the flag was conduct “sufficiently imbued with elements of communication," Spence, 418 U.S., at 409 , to implicate the First Amendment."
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 402-406 (1989) (Opinion of BRENNAN, J.)

最後裁定:事發當時是一個政治集會,在這情況下「燒國旗」,很明顯是帶有政治色彩的一種表達行為,是一種帶有象徵意味的「言論」。

* * *

引文中提到另一件案:
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969)

案件概要如下:
有學生決定戴黑臂章回校,以示反對越戰。此舉違反校規,被停學,直至抗議期完結。後來輾轉打官司至最高法院。

詳情可參看維基,也宜細閱判詞,以下是法官Abe Fortas的判詞摘錄:

“The District Court recognized that the wearing of an armband for the purpose of expressing certain views is the type of symbolic act that is within the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. See West Virginia v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943); Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359 (1931). Cf. Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88 (1940); Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963); Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131 (1966). As we shall discuss, the wearing of armbands in the circumstances of this case was entirely divorced from actually or potentially disruptive conduct by those participating in it. It was closely akin to “pure speech" which, we have repeatedly held, is entitled to comprehensive protection under the First Amendment. Cf. Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 555 (1965); Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39 (1966).

撮寫地方法院的裁斷。簡而言之,是指出「戴臂章」的行為並無任何「擾亂秩序」之處,跡近「純粹的『言論』」,受《憲法第一修正案》保障。

First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years. In Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), and Bartels v. Iowa, 262 U.S. 404 (1923), this Court, in opinions by Mr. Justice McReynolds, held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevents States from forbidding the teaching of a foreign language to young students. Statutes to this effect, the Court held, unconstitutionally interfere with the liberty of teacher, student, and parent. 2 See also Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925); West Virginia v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943); McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948); Wieman v. Updegraff, 344 U.S. 183, 195 (1952) (concurring opinion); Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234 (1957); Shelton v. Tucker, 364 U.S. 479, 487 (1960); Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962); Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589, 603 (1967); Epperson v. Arkansas, ante, p. 97 (1968).

這是名句出現之段落。

In West Virginia v. Barnette, supra, this Court held that under the First Amendment, the student in public school may not be compelled to salute the flag. Speaking through Mr. Justice Jackson, the Court said:

[‘]The Fourteenth Amendment, as now applied to the States, protects the citizen against the State itself and all of its creatures – Boards of Education not excepted. These have, of course, important, delicate, and highly discretionary functions, but none that they may not perform within the limits of the Bill of Rights. That they are educating the young for citizenship is reason for scrupulous protection of Constitutional freedoms of the individual, if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes.[‘]319 U.S., at 637.

On the other hand, the Court has repeatedly emphasized the need for affirming the comprehensive authority of the States and of school officials, consistent with fundamental constitutional safeguards, to prescribe and control conduct in the schools. See Epperson v. Arkansas, supra, at 104; Meyer v. Nebraska, supra, at 402. Our problem lies in the area where students in the exercise of First Amendment rights collide with the rules of the school authorities."
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503, 505-507 (1969) (Opinion of FORTAS, J.)

其實我只想舉當中的一句:

「[不論]學生或教師,都沒有在校門前放下言論或表達自由之憲法權利。([neither] students [n]or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.)」

這是保障兒童權利的名句,但在本文而言,這一部份尤為重要:「言論或表達自由之憲法權利(constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression)」

所謂「言論」,其實不限於文字,而可引申至各種形式的意見之表達。如果「言論自由(freedom of speech)」不夠清楚,不妨說「表達自由(freedom of expression)」;而究其底蘊,則可說是「思想/意見自由(freedom of thought/opinion)」。

不論以文字、圖像、聲音、雕刻、動作或任何其他形式表達,其實都是將思想和意見形之於外的行為,其意義相當,理應受同樣保障。

此說其實也見於《世界人權宣言(Universal Declaration of Human Rights)》:

「Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
第十八條
人人有思想、良心和宗教自由的權利;此項權利包括改變他的宗教或信仰的自由,以及單獨或集體、公開或秘密地以教義、實踐、禮拜或戒律表示他的宗教或信仰的自由。

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
第十九條
人人有權享有主張和發表意見的自由;此項權利包括持有主張而不受干涉的自由,和通過任何媒介和不論國界尋求、接受和傳遞消息和思想的自由。」
英文版:http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
中文版:http://www.un.org/zh/documents/udhr/

如果說:「一種意見以文字表達,受憲法保障;但同一種意見以行動(或其他形式)表達,則不受憲法保障。」這無疑是荒謬的。

文抄:Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 419-420 (1989)

這一單案叫Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397

長話短說:
 1984年,Gregory Lee Johnson在德州焚燒美國國旗。
 被捕、被控,定罪後被罰。
 後不服定罪,輾轉上訴至美國最高法院
 最終,在1989年,法院以5-4裁定:
  燒國旗是受憲法第一修正案保護的自由言論。

以下引述的,是開明派法官William J. Brennan, Jr.判詞的一部份。

The way to preserve the flag’s special role is not to punish those who feel differently about these matters. It is to persuade them that they are wrong.

[‘]To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.[‘]

Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 377 (1927) (Brandeis, J., concurring). And, precisely because it is our flag that is involved, one’s response to the flag burner may exploit the uniquely persuasive power of the flag itself. We can imagine no more appropriate response to burning a flag than waving one’s own, no better way to counter a flag burner’s message than by saluting the flag that burns, no surer means of preserving the dignity even of the flag that burned than by – as one witness here did – according its remains a respectful burial. We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents."
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 419-420 (1989) (Opinion of BRENNAN, J.)

州法例被推翻了,但保守派不會這麼輕易死心。
後來通過了《Flag Protection Act of 1989》,修改聯邦法例。
結果,另一件案再打到最高法院:United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310
法院再次以5-4比數,確認保護言論自由更重要。

We are aware that desecration of the flag is deeply offensive to many. But the same might be said, for example, of virulent ethnic and religious epithets, see Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949), vulgar repudiations of the draft, see Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971), and scurrilous caricatures, see Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988). [‘]If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.[‘] Johnson, supra, at 414. Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered, and worth revering."
United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310, 318-319 (1990) (Opinion of BRENNAN, J.)

其實,我從根本上就不認同「愛國」、「愛團體」的概念,而對任何「旗幟」、「徽號」,也從不認為有甚麼需要尊重,但這一點並不重要。
(簡單說幾句。「國家」、「政府」是有用的概念、制度、工具,但也僅此而已。你會不會「愛螺絲批」、「愛原子筆」、「愛殺蟲水」?那是工具而已!有用的工具,我們會愛惜,這是好事,但也僅此而已。不要跟工具談戀愛。而工具不好使、老舊、陳腐,那是隨時可以丟棄的。)

就算假設一個「符號」是值得尊重、應該尊重,並不表示我們可以懲罰那些侮蔑這個「符號」的人。你有權利尊重一個「符號」,我也有同等的權利蔑視同一個「符號」。

其實這正是我常說的:
 言論(思想)自由,並不是「尊重不同的想法」,而是--
  「尊重每人能有不同想法的權利」
(如果言論自由是「要尊重不同的想法」,那不就沒有「蔑視另一種想法」的權利/自由了嗎?這顯然不對。)

《毒火線(Snitch)》

Snitch Movie Poster
(from Wikipedia;Fair Use/Fair Dealing)

可能入場時期望低,實在有點驚喜。

由蠍子王Dwayne Johnson當主角,雖然那角色是普通人,我仍預期會有不合情理的打鬥、肉搏、「一個打十個」之類的場面--沒有

雖然沒有表演身手的機會,結果卻不令人失望;他貫徹普通人的角色,其能力也沒有(太)超乎普通人。只不過是一個面對不尋常境況的普通人,被逼作出不尋常的抉擇;容或有一點主角威能,但也算是可接受的程度,整體而言算是傾向寫實。

故事不能算很特別,其「真人真事」也有些許取巧,但算有趣,可參考維基專頁
(不過,那「簡介」也如常太詳盡,如打算入場,應跳過不看。)

所謂「Inspired by True Events」,真的只是「Inspired」而已,我跟隨維基上的引述資料,找到「引發」編劇寫作的紀錄片資料,沒有「代子臥底」的情節。

「代子臥底」以求減刑的故事,是有點荒謬,但撇開這筆,他兒子面對的困局卻很真實。

啟發這部戲的新聞節目叫《Frontline》,當中有一集就叫《snitch》,是這部戲的原點。

紀錄片訪問了兩個所謂「毒犯」:Clarence Aaron和Joey Settembrino。
這裡;繼續按進去會有他們的訪問謄本。)

戲中的人物,微妙地揉合了他們兩人的故事。

簡單點説,他們兩人毫無疑問有犯過事,而且是跟毒品有關的案件。

問題是:罪責和刑罰,是否相稱?
    這制度是否公道?
    這制度是否有效?
    (甚或,這制度是否有扭曲不當之處?)

就以Clarence Aaron的故事作例子。他的角色不過是做一個中間人,串針引線,兩班人(毒犯)見面時他在場,沒有牽涉真正的交易、販運、製造,也沒有使用過任何暴力,不涉及任何鎗械、武器。

或者先賣個關子,來看其他同案犯人的刑期有多長:
 一個,五至七年;
 另一個,十二至十四年;
 再一個,二十年;
 還有一個,緩刑。

上述那些(應該)是真正交易、販運那些人吧,那Clarence Aaron的刑期會有多長?
 五年?
 十年?
 二十年?
 三十年?

三次終身監禁。

根據維基資料,這單案因為是聯邦法院系統案件,所以不得假釋。(除非得到總統特赦。)

我剛剛看過2012年的聯邦法院判刑統計數字,以下是部份罪行的判刑中位數:

殺人       72個月(6年) [另,10人判終身監禁]
搶劫銀行     180個月(15年) [另,1人判終身監禁]
性侵幼童     204個月(17年) [另,9人判終身監禁]
(來源:"U.S. District Courts—Criminal Defendants Sentenced After Conviction, by Offense, During the 12-Month Period Ending September 30, 2012.“,http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/Statistics/JudicialBusiness/2012/appendices/D05Sep12.pdf。)

本片片尾有提過,部份首次被定罪的非暴力「毒犯」,刑期比殺人犯、強姦犯更長,絕非無的放矢。

Clarence Aaron的刑期之不合常理,也引來媒體關注,這裡有一篇。其實以他的名字搜尋,還有更多報導。

為何他的刑期會如此長?其中一個原因是,同案其他被告都指控他,以求自己可以減刑。那很自然,任何人都會想,那怎麼他不指控其他人?他有沒有隱瞞、包庇其他人,我不敢說,但先假設他沒有吧,也有一個很簡單的理由:如果他已經是組織的最底層,上層的人都已經被拘捕了(甚至就是跟控方合作指控他那些人),那他可以指控誰?沒有!

這個制度有點像… 層壓式推銷

上線的人,認識一大班下線的人,如果被抓了,隨便交幾個出去,就可以減刑了。
中層的,就交再下一層的。
最底層的呢?沒有人可交,就爆煲,硬食。

這還不算最糟糕。

如果沒人可交,只要願意「講大話」、「作故事」,隨便交個人…

不當的利誘制度,很容易被濫用,這是最危險之處。
不要只聽我的揣測,來看聯邦法院法官Judge Sweet怎麼說的。

而至於下線的人,為甚麼會跟上線的人一樣,會被判最高刑期?
來看前眾議院司法委員會律師Eric E. Sterling解釋

其實這全都是美國所謂「毒戰(War on Drugs)」的一部份問題,有興趣可細看。

有罪,有罰。是很普通的概念,也很公道,相信沒多少異議。
(除非有讀者想到人是否有「自由意志(Free Will)」等等的問題吧… 且恕我不想將問題越講越複雜…)
然而,制度應以甚麼方法量刑
是法官的工作,還是由檢控官代勞?
利用「線人」的口供作證據,應該到甚麼限度?
「線人」以口供換減刑,有多可靠?是否不當利誘?

而話說回來,「毒戰」本身是否恰當?
甚至,「禁毒」本身是否恰當?
(只簡單說幾句:我推崇自由主義,是贊成「毒品」解禁的;大部份的「毒品問題」,不是因為「毒品」本身,而是因為「禁制」。我甚至敢大膽推斷:如果有朝一日,「毒品」解禁,會有很多藥廠投放資金、人材研究「毒品」;其後不久,會有副作用較低、但有同樣效果的「專利藥物」面世。[其實看現時的抗抑鬱藥已可知一二,根本是一盤大生意。]到時候,「毒品問題」會變成「翻版問題」。)

一層一層問下去,很有趣,但再說下去恐怕沒完沒了。

原本以為是一部普通動作片,怎知道竟惹出了這一大串議題,真是始料未及。我得承認,是有點偏見,偏愛這種題材。然而,以一部「易入口」的動作片,引人關心這些社會問題,也實在是好事吧。而電影本身,亦拍得不錯,角色、場面、氣氛、節奏都拿捏得不錯,怎麼看都不會令人失望。

==

簡單評分:

B-(☆☆☆★)

《誣網(Jagten)[The Hunt]》

The Hunt Poster
(from Wikipedia;Fair Use/Fair Dealing)

今次,維基上的簡介很好,夠克制。其實又不是那種故事很出人意表、「穿橋」後就很無癮的戲;正好相反,很多情節都是順理成章、意料之中,但我仍然建議不要看太詳細的劇情。

這或許是心情的問題:預料一件事會發生,是一回事;看著一件事真的發生,是另一回事。這部戲的精彩之處,就在於那種氣氛。你明知道是會發生的,但當事情在眼前出現,還是感到忿忿不平、感到不安、感到沉重。渲染這種氛圍的主力之一,是本片的光線、色彩(或其缺乏光線和色彩。):一個昏暗、陰沉、濕冷的小鎮,說不上荒涼破落,但絕對夠偏僻殘舊。故事未開展已經清楚感覺到,在這個地方發生任何事,都必然是困獸鬥。

今次中文片名,其實也不錯--《誣網》:不是天網、法網,是一個小鎮中年失婚漢被誣指侵犯小童,身陷泥沼羅網,著實是一場「無妄」之災。

不禁令人想起周防正行導演,加瀬亮主演的《儘管如此我沒做過(それでもボクはやってない)》。(當年是在電影節看的,不經不覺原來已經是五屆前的事,我還覺得是不久前看的… 時間感變奇怪了,是老化的表現嗎?噢!)

周防正行那一部,說的是痴漢冤案(痴漢冤罪)問題,主要是控訴日本的司法制度。戲中甚至提過(大意):「日本法院的定罪率99.9%,一旦被檢控,幾乎必然要『洗定屁股』。」
(關於這一點,香港也曾有過相類的新聞,可惜波瀾不興,似乎未有傳媒、學者積極跟進,實在令人好奇究竟底蘊如何。可參看:<吳靄儀:法政隨筆 – 定罪率的筆戰>;及這份立法會秘書處資料:<IN19/09-10|選定地方的定罪率|21/6/2010>。)

而本片,則從另一個角度,看的是社會的偏見、私刑。(對於執法、司法方面,雖然只是側寫,輕輕帶過,但大致正面;當然,應該也有劇力焦點的考慮在內,因為要集中炮轟「民間」本身的問題,「建制」方面就寫得寬容一點。)

當中不少鎮民的盲點,可能多人都有;其中一部份,甚至透過另一些角色「畫公仔畫出腸」,其實有少許突兀,省去也可,但可能拍攝時覺得這點太重要,不忍割捨?

小孩會否說謊?(當然會!)
聲稱受害者,是否必然可信?(當然不!)
未審,是否可以先判?(當然不可!)
..

答得爽快,但不少人看報時讀到(聲稱)風化案時,都帶著有色眼鏡來看,到頭來又是跟戲中的鎮民一樣。

有一幕,實在令人不安,但也不好說破。只能說,帶著既定的想法「偵查」,九成九會找到你想聽到的。而引導性的提問,就是最簡單、最好的工具。

==

簡單評分:

A-(☆☆☆☆★)

憲法第五修正案頌:In Praise of the Fifth Amendment

In Praise of the Fifth Amendment: Why No Criminal Suspect Should Ever Talk to the Police. Presentation at Yale University. New Haven, Connecticut. December 11, 2008.

很喜歡這段公開課,久不久總要向人推薦一下。

第一部份,那個說話很快的法律教授叫James Duane。如有興趣,可上他任教大學的網頁Wikipedia看看他的背景。(不要搞錯,找上了另一個剛巧也是律師的James Duane。)

如果他說話實在太快,又或者想慢慢思考,可看這個謄本

第二部份,雖然也有趣,但其實可有可無。

這段錄像就當是開場白。關於這題目,有些想法尚待整理,希望今年能寫幾筆。