This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, welcome to episode 101 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. Just like a 1980s TV show, this is actually the second half of a, to be continued episode, as it comes from what I recorded as a three and a half hour long live Facebook Live in the Writer's Detective Q and A Facebook Group, to create episodes 100, which released last week, and episode 101, which is obviously what you're listening to right now.
If you haven't done so already, come join us in the Facebook Group. Just go to writersdetectivebureau.com/Facebook, answer a few quick questions so I know you're a real person, and you'll be approved. Just like episode 100, this one's a little bit different, because we covered a whole gamut of topics, so again, I will dispense with the summary intro and just get right into the questions.
All right. Lily says, "I was reading the explanation of the FBI and what section of law enforcement it covers, and I thought that it said the FBI does not take cases to trial, but turns them over to the police for that jurisdiction, and then the DA prosecutes the criminals. Does the FBI actually take criminals through a court procedure?" Yes, they do, Lily. It's just a more a matter of, for the volume of cases they get, to the number that actually make it to a federal criminal prosecution, are pretty small. For a variety of reasons, one is the US Attorney tends not to want to go to jury trial. They want open and shut cases where the evidence is so overwhelming that the defendant is going to take a plea. If there's any kind of indication that it's going to go to a jury trial, then more often than not, the US attorney's just going to say, "Let it go to State Court."
The way that that happens is to use, it's overused, an overused example, but it's a very illustrative one, is a bank robbery. Bad guy goes into a bank, robs the bank, the police department responds. Police department calls the FBI and says, "Hey, we just had a bank robbery." They both show up. From the FBI's perspective, this guy committed a federal crime of robbing a federally insured bank, an FDIC insured bank, so that is it's own federal bank robbery criminal section. Then from the local police standpoint, they've committed the state crime of robbery. In California, that would be 211 of the penal code, which you may hear on TV. A lot of times the codes that they use, like 211 or 187, tend to be California codes. Then they'll use it in writing for all over the country for whatever reason, but that is a California penal code section.
That's the section for robbery 211, 211, and so, which would be separate from Title 18, whatever it is, like 2000 something for the bank robbery section... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, Episode 100. I can't believe we've already made it to 100 episodes. I recorded this as a three and a half hour long Facebook Live in the Writer's Detective Q & A Facebook Group. And then I distilled many of the questions and answers from that down into what you're listening to now, and what will also be Episode 101. If you haven't already done so, come join us in the Facebook Group. Just go to writersdetectivebureau.com/Facebook, answer a few quick questions, so I know you're a real person and not a spambot, and then you'll be approved. Since we covered a whole gamut of topics, rather than try to summarize everyone at the top of the show like I normally do, what do you say we just get right into the questions?
First question. How soon will the medical examiner rule a drowning a homicide? And of course it popped off the screen right after that, in trying to tighten the storyline and increase the pace.
Good question. I mean, honestly, that's one of those things that you can kind of play with as far as your timeline. Whether they have it be a homicide as far as manner of death, I mean they'll rule it a ... I mean, not a suicide, they'll rule it a drowning pretty quickly. That will be pretty obvious based on what they find during the autopsy. They will probably have to talk to the police detective that's doing the investigation to actually learn whether it's a homicide or not. So there's going to be some communication between the two. Obviously coming in, it's just going to look like the obvious thing for drowning would be accidental. So in that case if the police were involved and there was that kind of particular possibility, going back to the last episode where I talked about manner of death, cause of death, and mechanism of death, there's actually one more classification I didn't add to the list when we talked about it in the podcast, just because I didn't want to confuse anyone. But there's actually a pending manner of death... Continue reading...
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