Judges don't like showing up cops in court. There are even cases on record when judges admit out loud to being reluctant to discredit the testimony of police, no matter how clumsy their testimony.
"I don't like to jeopardize their career and all the rest of it," a federal judge named John Sprizzo said a few years back, after ruling that two cops had "tailored" their testimony to justify an illegal search.
Minus video, a defendant on the wrong side of a police fabrication typically has to hope the arresting officer is so dumb and such a maladroit liar that he leaves a judge no choice but to override his natural inclination to buy the testimony of a sworn officer. Those are pretty long odds.—Rolling Stone
This was a "heater" — police shorthand for a high profile case. Prosecutors were hesitant to move too quickly on a local football hero with deep pockets and savvy lawyers, according to two individuals with knowledge of the investigation. They held off on an arrest warrant.
"If his name was John Brown, he would have been in jail," one criminal justice official with knowledge of the case said. "If a woman says, 'He's the guy that raped me,' and you have corroborating evidence to show they were together and she went to the hospital and she can identify him, that guy goes to jail."
Sharper did not — and continued an unchecked crime spree that ended only with his arrest in Los Angeles last year after sexually assaulting four women in 24 hours. In March, Sharper owned up to his savagery. He agreed to plead guilty or no contest to raping or attempting to rape nine women in four states. The pending deal allows his possible release after serving half of a 20-year sentence — a strikingly light punishment that has drawn widespread criticism.
Sharper's rampage of druggings and rapes could have been prevented, according to a two-month investigation by ProPublica and The New Orleans Advocate based on police records in five states, hundreds of pages of court documents and dozens of interviews across the country.—ProPublica