Carey Pietsch




Why Police Lie Under Oath

UPDATE 3/21/12- here's the finished piece!

I'd love to hear any feedback that you guys have- and can't wait to see the pieces you make!


UPDATE  3/19/13- Another WIP shot.

Took it into greyscale mode to make sure the crossed fingers/ pants and back area was the highest-contrast one, and I'm glad I did! Was losing it a little there.

Going to have to work hard to not overwork this, if that makes sense at all.


UPDATE  3/18/13- Getting closer to the final thing! (swapped updates: newest now on top to cut down your scroll time :) )

2 is the winner! Trying to pick out more colors, figure out an interesting balance of linework/ colors, and sorting out the feel / size of the courtroom. Feedback is always welcome!

- Carey


EDIT 3/17/13- Some rough color thumbs!

Let's just call these 1-4 again, okay? : ) I like the strong blue for the focal officer, and I'm going for a light skin tone on him both as a contrast and to emphasize some of the privilege the article talks about as sometimes playing a role in trust.


EDIT 3/15/13- thanks very much for the helpful comments, everyone! I'll reply individually below. I made another few thumbs that are variants on earlier versions #2 and #4

So I guess these are now A, B, C and D!

A: Tried out a completely flat version of 2, above, to keep the emphasis on the officer. Removed the flanking/ stonewalling companion officers as well.

B: Same as A, with slightly more distance from the officer.

C: Slight compositional variant of 2- trying to direct more attention to the raised hand and the crossed fingers without removing the flanking/ blocking officers. I do think that they're helpful in conveying the culture of silence factor in the motivation for lying.

D: Cleaned up version of 4, above.

If you have a minute, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Concepting- 3/12/13

I zeroed in on a few main points from this article:

a) Our methods of measuring the success of police departments rely heavily on the number of arrests/ convictions they produce

b) There are few or no disincentives for police to make false claims/accusations , and public opinion is also biased in their favor

c) There are large financial incentives for being a successful police department according to the above metrics, so

d) Our system seems to almost invite deception by the police.

With that in mind, here are a few thumbnails, with brief explanations below:

1: Police are holding all the cards--public trust, jury trust, organizational support-- while the people who these lies affect often have very little in the way of resources.

2: Police protect their own: there's no harsh punishment for lying on the stand, and plenty of incentive to help cover it up.

3: Tipping the scales results in a serious payoff, even in the absence of an explicit quota system (and affects the lives of real people in the process!)

4: Lie detector readout parallelling an uptick in stats.

5: Police face little or no disincentive to lie, as their punishments, if caught, are very small-- as opposed to the much more substantial consequences of being convicted of a crime.

6: I seem to have forgotten to actually draw in roses and cash on the stage (whoops), but I was going for producing additional busts -> additional funding with this magician-cop pulling a bag of something illicit out of a hat.

I do a lot of thumbnailing for narrative illustrations and comics, but this is one of my first projects trying to wrangle visual metaphors. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is working on, and to hear Mike's and everyone else's thoughts on which of these directions would be best to move forward on!


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