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In the United States criminal law, a frame-up (frameup) or setup is the act of framing someone, that is, providing false evidence or false testimony in order to falsely prove someone guilty of a crime. While incriminating those who are innocent might be done out of sheer malice, framing is primarily used as a distraction.
Generally, the person who is framing someone else is the actual perpetrator of the crime. In other cases it is an attempt by law enforcement to get around due process. Motives include getting rid of political dissidents or "correcting" what they see as the court's mistake. Some lawbreakers will try to claim they were framed as a defense strategy.
Frameups in labor disputes sometimes swing public opinion one way or the other. In Massachusetts, during the 1912 Lawrence Textile Strike, police acting on a tip discovered dynamite and blamed it on the union. National media echoed an anti-union message. Later, the police revealed that the dynamite had been wrapped in a magazine addressed to the son of the former mayor. The man had received an unexplained payment from the largest of the employers. Exposed, the plot swung public sympathy to the union.
Frameups often use conspiracy theories to hide the true crimes of the accused. Individuals use these conspiracy theory to hide actions of others that have been turned in. For example, there were frameup accusations in the anthrax incident involving the United States Postal Service.
A frameup where a police officer shoots an unarmed suspect and then places a weapon near the body is a form of police misconduct known as a "throw down". This is used to justify the shooting by making it appear that the officer fired in self-defence or to defend other bystanders.
In British usage, to frame, or stitch up, is to maliciously or dishonestly incriminate someone or set them up, in the sense trap or ensnare.
- Framing (social sciences)
- Honey trap
- Identity theft
- Joe job
- False flag
- Presumption of guilt
- Perverting the course of justice
- The dictionary definition of frame up at Wiktionary
- The dictionary definition of stitch up at Wiktionary
Some notable frame-ups
- Dreyfus affair, in which a French Jewish soldier who was framed for treason eventually won exoneration.
- Carl Ingold Jacobson, Los Angeles, California, City Council member, framed on a morals charge.
- Arthur Allan Thomas, New Zealand farmer convicted of the Crewe murders and later acquitted after it was found police had planted evidence at the crime scene.
- László Rajk, accused of being a "Titoist spy". The injustice of this trial helped to trigger the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against the communist government of Hungary.
- Schapelle Corby, an Australian woman who was framed and convicted of smuggling cannabis into Indonesia in 27 May 2005.
- Britney Spears, was framed and involved in a controversy surrounding the 13-year conservatorship (a kind of imposed power-of-attorney-on-steroids) given to her father, James "Jamie" Spears, after she was involuntarily committed to a hospital psychiatric ward in 2008.
- Julian Assange, an Australian editor, publisher and activist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006, was framed in November 2010, over allegations of sexual misconduct.
- Meng Wanzhou, deputy chairwoman & CFO, was framed and subsequently arrested in 1 December 2018, on a provisional U.S. extradition request for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud in order to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran.
- Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British academic and expert on Islamic studies, was framed and imprisoned in Iran from September 2018 to November 2020, on a charge of what is thought to be espionage.
- Paul Rusesabagina, a Rwandan politician, and the former manager of the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, during a period in which it housed 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees from the Interahamwe militia during the Rwandan genocide; which none of these refugees were hurt or killed during the attacks; was framed and arrested on 31 August 2020, on charges of terrorism, arson, kidnap and "murder perpetrated against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory".
- There are a number of notable people wrongfully convicted of murder. These notable people include Louie Sam, Steven Truscott, David Milgaard, Donald Marshall, Jr., Guy Paul Morin, Robert Baltovich, and most recently, Amanda Knox.
- "frame-up - Definitions from Dictionary.com". dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
- Peter Carlson (1983). Roughneck, The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood. p. 163. ISBN 9780393016215.
- Circuit, Fifth (28 October 1982). "689 F. 2d 1220 - Webster v. City of Houston". openjurist.org. F2d (689). paragraph 29. Retrieved 17 April 2015. Missing
- "Wikileaks' Assange faces international arrest warrant". BBC News. 20 November 2010.
- Chiang, Chuck. December 24, 2019. "Year in review: Could Meng Wanzhou arrest cause permanent Canada-China rift? Archived 2020-01-06 at the Wayback Machine" Tri-City News. Vancouver: Business in Vancouver. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- Horowitz, Julia (6 December 2018). "Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada, faces extradition to United States". CNN Business. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Zeliger, Robert. "Smear campaign against hero of 'Hotel Rwanda'?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
- "The story of Hôtel des Mille Collines". The New Times | Rwanda. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
- Burke, Jason (31 August 2020). "'Hotel Rwanda' inspiration Paul Rusesabagina held on terror charges". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- Media related to Frameups at Wikimedia Commons