It really grinds my gears when I hear lay people (read: tv and movie writers, newscasters, media, your mother, my mother) use the term technicality to describe a violation of some Constitutional right. As in: “The judge threw out the case because of a bad search or something”, “The guy kills a cop and he gets off on some technicality?” or “He was so guilty, but his lawyer got him off on some technicality”.
So here’s my proposal. Let’s start replacing real phrases for the meaningless and incendiary “technicality”. For example, a search that violates the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures shall henceforth be called “police misconduct”.
A conviction that’s reversed because the prosecutor “forgot” to turn over potentially exculpatory information should be called “prosecutorial dishonesty”.
A case that’s dismissed for lack of probable cause should be called “fabrication of evidence” or “prosecutorial bloodlust”.
“The judge threw out the case because of police misconduct” sure has a better, more truthful ring to it.
Any more ideas?