In this document, we present the Brenton Butler case, where Mary Ann Stephens, who was a holiday, is shot in the head in front of her husband. Later, Brenton Butler, a 15 year old Black citizen, was arrested just because he was in a street near the place of crime and it was confirmed that he was the murderer. Mr Stephens identifies him and Butler signs a confession. So, one could imagine that anyone involved with the case is ready to condemn Brenton Butler. The American justice in that case would have been very simple. There is an eyewitness; there is confession, so Brenton Butler is clearly guilty. Fortunately, Butler's lawyer, Patrick McGuiness has reopened the inquiry, and discovered troubling elements about this case. So, he succeeded in proving his innocence. But, it's difficult to realize that a young Black can be tried for murder just because someone (especially someone a little bit disturbed because he saw a murder) identifies him as a murderer. In this case, there was no enquiry to prove that he was innocent, no material verification, and a lot of confusions in the conclusions drawn by the police.
[...] Also, as the judge is human being you can understand that sometime it's difficult for him to look both for incriminating and exculpating evidence : he can have convictions in certain cases. In short, this case reveals that the failing of the French system can be considered as an advantage in the American one and vice versa. In fact, a good solution would be to make changes in these two systems instead of replacing the American one with the French one. Bibliographie “Perspectives on French Criminal par Sophie M. Clavier système pénal français : quelles évolutions souhaitables“ par Georges Fenec “Basic Criminal Procedures” par Edward E. [...]
[...] It brings up the problem of the anomalies in the American investigations. But, the question now is to know if it could have been different with another system. So, we can wonder: Brenton Butler case, do you think that it could happen in France? The obvious answer would be that Brenton Butler couldn't happen in France. Indeed, it's difficult to imagine a trial as a result of an incomplete enquiry. In the French system, there is a kind of filter in the procedures. [...]
[...] For example, experts would have looked for fingerprint in the victim's bag and found the real murderer. With the film coupable ideal”, the American justice seems to be more unfair as you have to pay for private investigator, the jury judge only with fact exposed in front of them and decide if you are guilty or not whereas they don't know anything about law. But, I don't thing that the solution is to replace the American system by the French one. [...]
[...] If you are not convinced, we could imagine that the judge decides there is a valid case against Brenton Butler, he could defer him to a court. Indeed, there are cases in which the “juge d'instruction” chose just to incriminate because of a personal belief and innocent people can spend several months in jail waiting for their sentence in a court (we could have seen it in the Outreau case). So, Brenton Butler would have spent more time in preventive detention if he was in France. [...]
[...] The good point is that even if the “juge d'instruction” thinks he is guilty, he can't sentence him in a court. The accused is judge by others judges and can prove his innocence. The fundamental principle underlying trial proceedings is the presumption of innocence. In deed, in virtue of constitutional Rights of 1789 and of the Declaration on the Rights of Man: “every man is presumed innocent until declared guilty." On the contrary in United States, the fundamental principle is to show that the person is guilty beyond the reasonable doubt. [...]
Lecture en ligneet sans publicité !
Contenu vérifiépar notre comité de lecture