Michael Stuart Kelly

Casey Anthony Acquitted and Graceless

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Shyane,

The point was raised in the context of (1) Casey Anthony, and (2) using innocent as a synonym for not guilty.

Since you agree with me that words are just tags for concepts, I presume that you agree that innocent actually is a synonym for not guilty and can be used as one in all correctness.

Now, as to Casey Anthony, do you really believe the people on OL don't understand that just because she was not convicted by a jury, this means she could not have done it?

Sorry, that does not compute. Not on this planet.

My only point was that the concept of burden of proof deserves underscoring. It deserves putting on thousands of billboards across America because people do not get it. That's all.

If you want to make the case that people do not apply their understanding of presumption of innocence (or burden of proof) to patents, that's another issue. Intellectual property is a higher level of abstraction than murder, so it is entirely possible for people to understand the concept of presumption of innocence, yet not analyze it with respect to patent law.

There's no reason to presume that people do not understand something simple just because they do not apply it to something complicated.

(And I'm not saying they do or don't. I'm just dealing with the logic here.)

Michael

If someone can't competently apply their "knowledge", then they don't have it. The Objectivist view of patents represents such a wildly incompetent application of "burden of proof" that I must conclude that they don't understand it.

Shayne

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Shayne:

So once again, you cannot prove your assertion about the burden of proof.

Just want that clearly noted for the record.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, as to Ayn's position on patents that, as you have noted, is on record.

You do not know my position on patents.

However, if there was to be a debate on that issue, we could start a thread which would formally debate the proposition:

Resolved that: the "Ayn Rand" position on patents [as defined here] is moral. [replace morally with a different word if you so choose].

Does this meet with your approval?

Adam

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Shayne:

So once again, you cannot prove your assertion about the burden of proof.

Just want that clearly noted for the record.

And I'll note, "for the record", that you have once again demonstrated that you are incompetent at debate, by referring you to the fact that you have no evidence for this claim; all you have is evidence that I have not proved my assertion regarding the majority of Objectivists. You may further speculate that I will not attempt to prove this to you, not now, not ever.

I would further note, for the record, that the implication of your emphasis here is that I am somehow obligated to prove this, and that in your emphasis, you wish to attack my character as somehow being hypocritical, but the facts are actually the opposite: in implicitly demanding without proof that I must prove you are proven hypocritical. Also, in stating that I "cannot" prove my assertion, again without not only no proof but no evidence, you again demonstrate hypocrisy. We must therefore entertain the idea that you are indeed a hypocrite.

Why are you a hypocrite (if you are one)? Is it because you are too stupid to grasp logical connections, or is it because you are too immoral to be bothered to try? I think it is the latter, because you have been trounced so many times that by now, one would think you'd be more careful and guarded. On the other hand, you might not be a real person, but rather some kind of actor or troll. Can anyone at OL vouch for your authenticity as a real human being?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, as to Ayn's position on patents that, as you have noted, is on record.

You do not know my position on patents.

However, if there was to be a debate on that issue, we could start a thread which would formally debate the proposition:

Resolved that: the "Ayn Rand" position on patents [as defined here] is moral. [replace morally with a different word if you so choose].

Does this meet with your approval?

Adam

If your position is that Rand's position is moral, then go ahead and make a thread on it. You don't need my permission to state your own deeply flawed views.

Shayne

Edited by sjw

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Be safe Shayne.

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If someone can't competently apply their "knowledge", then they don't have it.

Shayne,

My research does not bear this out.

(At the very least, I disagree with your statement on the surface level: if a person doesn't do something, I say that doesn't mean he can't do it. But, for the continuation below, I'm taking your meaning at a more conversational level and taking into account that this is a common theme in your writing--that people generally don't make these connections because they can't with the knowledge they have.)

I've been doing a lot of study recently on the difference between experts who empower people and experts who can dredge up an enormous amount of facts and connections, but do not use this information for anything productive or to solve problems in people's lives.

Usually the experts who empower get megabucks and the egghead experts work at places like colleges for a wage. The first kind takes complicated information and simplifies it in a manner people can use for promoting their values. The second kind takes complicated information and writes articles or books for a very limited public who do little with it--and they teach it, of course. Or they work for people who can make productive processes from it.

In terms of people having information, I say the issue is the contrary. Take a look at the information glut all around us. We are bombarded with text, image and audio information at a scale unimaginable two centuries ago. So I say most people have far more knowledge than they ever could apply even if they wanted to. Information overload is a common complaint nowadays.

Let's do a little exercise here if you are game. You claim that people don't really know what burden of proof means. I say they do for simple cases like murder, but they have not used this knowledge for more complicated abstractions like intellectual property. Let's apply the WIIFM factor (WIIFM = "what's in it for me") and ask a very basic question. Why would a person who works in, say, an office of a retail corporation spend mental energy applying the concept of burden of proof to patent law? What does he gain by that?

I can't think of anything if I look through the eyes of that person into the world of that person's values.

Obviously, if I impose my own values on him, I can talk about things like mental enlightenment, the ability to make better informed political decisions at voting time, etc. But in order to do that, I need to find a way to get him to accept my values by choice or somehow ram them down his throat. Barring that, he will see the world from his own perspective.

We can also ask, what does he currently gain by his more simple understanding of the concept of burden of proof? Right off the top of my head, I don't see any immediate use for even this simple level of understanding to his job or family or health. He will use it if he has court issues. But that is the exception in his life, it is not a part of his everyday affairs.

Entertainment-wise, he can use it. He needs to understand it to make sense of TV courtroom dramas, fiction books and so forth, and to make sense of some news stories. From what I see all around me, he has perfect knowledge for that purpose.

I'm including Objectivists and libertarians in this observation. (But obviously not lawyers, law professors, etc.)

So, ironically, if people are to get a more consistent form of government in terms of freedom, it will not be from experts who push them to make higher-level abstractions, but instead, from experts who understand those higher-level abstractions, but simplify them in common language (that they already understand) and frame them with the WIIFM factor.

Here's a great example. Paper after paper has been written on the difference between democracy and constitutional republic. Yet people in the mainstream sill kept going on and on about the glories of democracy. Then Glenn Beck came along and now even lefties are talking in public about the structure of constitutional republics.

Is that because people didn't have the knowledge before and couldn't understand what a constitutional republic was? Or is it because they did have the knowledge, but it was mixed in with all the other stuff they knew and didn't find use for in their lives?

I say the second. And it was easy for them to understand once it was aided by Beck's strongest WIIFM factor: the impact on the children of his audience (made up of people who generally love their kids)--he has shown how the children are getting patently false historical information in school in order to brainwash them into accepting a left-wing big-government agenda and has painted a dreadful picture of what the world will look like to them as adults if we do not act now--starting with defending the institution of a constitutional republic as opposed to majority rule.

Rand did this for reason-based individualistic-oriented philosophy by writing fiction. If you want to spread your ideas on intellectual property, I suggest a similar course. Build on what people know and add WIIFM instead of griping about what they do not know. The first has a great chance of working. The second almost never does.

(btw - Sorry about the typo with your name above. So many people quoted it, I have to leave it that way now if it is going to make sense to new readers. I'll try to do better in the future. Drat! :) )

Michael

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On TV, Geraldo Rivera has been consistently blasting the "84 searches" accusation (or was it 86?...), saying that it had only been one. I'm not interested enough to look it up, but he must have his reasons for saying it over and over.

It looks like a computer expert did testify at trial about 84 hits for the word chloroform on the Anthony computer:

http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-tampa-bay/videos-john-bradley-testifies-casey-anthony-case-about-internet-searches

On June 8, 2011, computer expert John Bradley testified in the Casey Anthony case about Internet searches performed on a computer in the Anthony home. Casey Anthony is charged with first degree murder in the June 16, 2008 death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. The prosecution alleges that Casey Anthony used chloroform to drug Caylee before covering her mouth and nose with three pieces of duct tape. The defense says that Caylee Anthony drowned in the family swimming pool. Casey Anthony faces the death penalty if found guilty.

<...>

John Bradley testified about a computer program that he designed for use in computer forensics. The program is called “CacheBack” and the program assists authorities with rebuilding cache on computers. This gives investigators the ability to retrieve websites, photos, videos and other information contained on computers. According to John Bradley’s testimony there were several searches conducted on the Anthony computer that included the keywords chloroform, neck breaking chest trauma, head injuries, hand-to-hand combat, household weapons and self defense. One of the websites had received 84 hits for the word chloroform.

Edited by Xray

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The study of criminal cases touches on many issues which are also relevant in philosophy.

It raises epistemological questions ('What can definitely be known? Which facts are not in dispute? What is the truth?'), ethical questions (e. g.empathy for the victims; pro and contra death penalty; 'morally biased' prosecution team/biased judges/jurors), it focuses on the validity of inferences drawn as investigators are trying to putting pieces of the puzzle together.

The law of non-contradiction also comes into play. That is, the defendant cannot have done it and not have done it. It's either-or.

Applied to the Anthony case, either Casey killed her daughter or she didn't. There is no in-between.

There has been quite a discussion here about the "not guilty" verdict.

"Not guilty" verdicts can be philosophically challenging as well, for one can get the paradoxical situation that a person who is pronounced "not guilty" in the courtroom IS guilty de facto.

If we try to work with law of identity here, A = A (guilty is guilty):

How can a person (in the case of an individual who has in fact committed the crime but who was still acquitted) be "not guilty" and "guilty"?

It has been convincingly argued that being "not guilty" of a crime is the semantical equivalent of being "innocent of a crime". If John is "not guilty" of pinching Jim's wallet, it follows that John is "innocent" of doing this.

If Casey has been found "not guilty" in the courtroom, the semantical inference is that she has also been found "innocent" in the courtroom.

Now we know "not guilty" is a de jure word construction for the courtroom.

Imo from a semantical standpoint, the courtroom phrase "not guilty" is a confusing terminological choice. Why not say "acquitted because the prosecution could not prove their case in the eyes of the jury?" This would cause no semantic confusion as to a defendant's possible real guilt, but would leave this question open instead.

Edited by Xray

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Imo from a semantical standpoint, the courtroom phrase "not guilty" is an unlucky terminological choice. Why not say "acquitted because the prosecution could not prove their case in the eyes of the jury?" This would cause no semantic confusion as to a defendant's possible real guilt, but would leave this question open instead.

Angela:

The law (as it stood) required the jury merely to look at the facts and pass a verdict of "proven" or "not proven" depending on whether they believed the facts proved the defendant had killed the Earl. As the defendant had undoubtedly killed the Earl, if the jury brought in a "proven" they would in effect cause this innocent man to hang. To avert this injustice, the jury decided to assert what it believed to be their "ancient right" to judge the whole case and not just the facts, and brought in the verdict of "not guilty".

This is from my post #59 on this thread which appears to be what you are arguing for. It was the pattern in Scottish jurisprudence until 1728 wherein they brought back the "not guilty" verdict as an option.

Adam

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Imo from a semantical standpoint, the courtroom phrase "not guilty" is a confusing terminological choice. Why not say "acquitted because the prosecution could not prove their case in the eyes of the jury?" This would cause no semantic confusion as to a defendant's possible real guilt, but would leave this question open instead.

For your circumlocution to work it would be required also that there not be a guilty verdict but "guilty because the prosecution proved . . . ."

What you are trying to fix would just make more problems, like sloppy attitudes and thinking in the jury room: "We aren't trying to find him guilty or not guilty, uh, could you read that thing out loud again about our "eyes"?

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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(btw - Sorry about the typo with your name above. So many people quoted it, I have to leave it that way now if it is going to make sense to new readers. I'll try to do better in the future. Drat! :) )

Michael

No problem, I've been called worse ;)

I don't take issue with your thoughts, it's related to what I'm thinking of but not quite the same thing. What I am thinking of is the person who says, for example, "pot smokers should be in jail" or "if you violate a patent you should be sued." These people are advocating attacks by government, but in fact they do not understand the moral underpinnings of what they advocate for (likely because they don't care to know).

If you think you should grab a blunt object and hit someone over the head with it, then I say you should really focus on that term "should" before you actually take that action. This also applies to the action of publicly advocating or supporting the idea that someone else should grab the blunt object and hit someone over the head with it -- which is the case with Rand and her advocating attacks on the second inventor.

There are two categories of people here. There is Rand and those like her. And then there are people who claim not to know the answer to this allegedly "complex" issue.

The second category of people must, at the least, refuse to support patents, on the grounds that the prima facie evidence is that the second inventor is innocent and is being attacked for nothing. By their own words they don't know that patents are valid, therefore the burden of proof principle would force them (if they were actually committed to logic) to refuse to support patents until such time as they are convinced. Logic demands that he not sit on the fence.

An Objectivist is a special case, particularly the type that idolizes Rand. For him, the matter of whether Rand was so wrong about something that she actually systematically advocated usurping the rights of another human being (in a similar manner as Karl Marx did before her) should be of crucial importance for him. It should be a matter of utmost urgency to figure out what is the case here, and it is not as much "complex" as it elicits cognitive dissonance. The Rand idolater does not want Rand to be wrong, and that is what he means when he says it is "complex." Because really, the principle behind patents is trivial to understand, and then to evaluate as evil.

I do not think there is any excuse for anyone to support attacking people for pot or for "trespassing" on patents. I think that no one who supports these things can possibly understand "burden of proof", because actually, he doesn't understand much of anything as much as he obeys and submits to what others tell him. I don't think it's a deep scholarly intellectual exercise either. It is more of a psychological exercise: can the person learn to think without training wheels or not? Can he ignore the herd and authority figures telling him what's right and go by his own first-handed knowledge? If he can, he will quickly see that he can't support patents, and if he goes just a bit farther he will see that they are evil. In this pursuit no one provides better inspiration than Rand herself:

Do not say that you’re afraid to trust your mind because you know so little. Are you safer in surrendering to mystics and discarding the little that you know? Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority. Accept the fact that you are not omniscient, but playing a zombie will not give you omniscience—that your mind is fallible, but becoming mindless will not make you infallible—that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.

I don't think these issues are complicated, I think people are psychologically damaged and therefore unable to think. Why are they damaged? At root it is from physical threat aimed at them if they step out of line, something that started when they were born and continues throughout their lives. They know that if they do not submit, they will be attacked, but most are unaware of the full scope of this, it's real source, and why it is evil, and they are unaware precisely because they have been damaged.

So why then do I blame them? Because they are adults. Because, unlike their poor ancestors, they are not threatened by being burned at the stake for thinking and expressing their views. It is true that they will be severely punished if they step out of line, but generally not for thinking and communicating. America's Founding Fathers and other heroes throughout history have seen to that. They have the power to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and they refuse. These are grown adults we're talking about. I don't think they need patience and understanding. I think they need a metaphorical kick in the pants.

Shayne

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These people are advocating attacks by government, but in fact they do not understand the moral underpinnings of what they advocate for (likely because they don't care to know).

. . .

I don't think these issues are complicated, I think people are psychologically damaged and therefore unable to think.

Shayne,

These are two assumptions you are making about people in general and I'm not so sure they are accurate.

In the first case, for instance, are you sure people don't "understand the moral underpinnings of what they advocate"? What if the "moral underpinnings" they use are not the same as yours? Isn't it entirely possible for a person to be aware of his/her moral reasons? I believe it is. I think people are far more moral--and aware of their principles--than is usually thought.

I see Rand make this leap at times and it makes me uncomfortable. She holds that if someone does not agree with her. they have stepped outside the cognitive issue altogether. For instance, some people choose altruism as their morality. How many times has Rand talked about the morality of altruism, then elsewhere called altruism immoral? So is altruism a kind of morality or not? Or is she using the same word for two different concepts?

That seems to be it. You can generally get her meaning when she uses one word to express two different concepts--morality as a system of values and morality as a synonym for "the good"--from the context, but sometimes it is really on the borderline because of incorrect insinuations. (I have an article planned for discussing this.)

Getting back to the moral underpinnings you claim people don't understand, suppose the morality of your example person who wants pot smokers in jail is not based on the individual, but instead on family and community. He sees the pot smoker as a threat, as a contaminating influence on the community's well being and as a threat to children. I'm not saying I agree with this as the basis of morality, but I am saying that many people hold this kind of view and that they are perfectly aware of it. They reject individualism if family and community are not involved on an equal, if not greater, standing.

You won't convince such a person to change his morality by telling him he doesn't have a clue about what morality is. He knows differently and has made his moral choices.

The thing is to show him that there are serious booby-traps in his morality and so forth, not tell him he doesn't understand what morality is.

In your second assumption, if you believe that most people are "damaged psychologically," what is your standard of being undamaged?

I have been studying subconscious motivations, neuroscience and a host of other brain stuff and I haven't found anything that leads me to believe that the majority of humankind is damaged in the brain department.

There is something in Objectivism that could lead to your conclusion, though. It's Rand's manner in how she approaches human nature. She defines man as a "rational animal," but treats the rational part as good and the animal part as evil (unless it is under strict control of the rational part). She talks against mind-body dichotomy, but in practice, makes a big honking mind-body dichotomy all the time--with the mind needing to come out as winner for good to prevail.

I have found a much better description of man in the words of a brilliant young dude I was listening to about Internet marketing (a guy named Mark Hoverson). He said that lots of people claim that man is rational. But look at what they do and have done throughout history. Is stuff like war rational? In his wise words, "Come on!" :)

He continued that we have a rational faculty, but that's about as far as you can take the rational part in defining human nature. (These are not his exact words, but that's the gist of the thought.)

When I look at mankind, I have to admit that this is what I see.

So I believe that we have to work to strengthen the rational part and understand the subconscious part enough to train it or get around it. In Rand's view, this is more like honing a tool (she held you could program your emotions, for instance). But in fact, the subconscious is our actual experience of living, not just a tool for experiencing it that we can use or not, and it's a fundamental component in keeping us alive.

Back when they used to do lobotomies, I once read that some of the people became completely rational, but so cut off from their emotions that they could not use their reason for anything pertaining to values. For instance, a person could sit on a train track, see the train coming toward him and know that it would crush him, but not be motivated enough by this knowledge to get up off the track. Even the prospect of his own death left him indifferent in the most literal sense of the word.

Reason without emotion and other subconscious motivations simply takes the joy out of living. And emotion without reason really sucks, too, as a prescription for living. However, it is good to let yourself go once in a while. Doing that for short spans is actually healthy. We exist organically in waves, not as a straight line. This includes our awareness and mental processes, including reason.

Training the subconscious is a long haul, though, and it is sort of like the process of house-training a dog. You can get it to go along for the most part after repeating connections like rewards and punishments long enough (or other forms of creating neural pathways), but it will still glitch once in a while. If that isn't a fundamental part of human nature, I don't know what is.

This, and a whole lot of stuff I haven't even mentioned, leaves a lot of room for people to engage in monkey-shines without being "psychologically damaged."

I have only scratched the surface in checking your two premises, but I believe they are premises that need checking.

Michael

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In the first case, for instance, are you sure people don't "understand the moral underpinnings of what they advocate"? What if the "moral underpinnings" they use are not the same as yours? Isn't it entirely possible for a person to be aware of his/her moral reasons? I believe it is. I think people are far more moral--and aware of their principles--than is usually thought.

I hold people responsible for the morals they adopt (when it causes them to attack innocents). Choosing a morally improper moral philosophy is itself something deserving of moral condemnation, precisely because it is a choice.

I think we're in basic agreement regarding the subconscious, reasons, emotions, etc.

Shayne

Edited by sjw

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Imo from a semantical standpoint, the courtroom phrase "not guilty" is an unlucky terminological choice. Why not say "acquitted because the prosecution could not prove their case in the eyes of the jury?" This would cause no semantic confusion as to a defendant's possible real guilt, but would leave this question open instead.

Angela:

The law (as it stood) required the jury merely to look at the facts and pass a verdict of "proven" or "not proven" depending on whether they believed the facts proved the defendant had killed the Earl. As the defendant had undoubtedly killed the Earl, if the jury brought in a "proven" they would in effect cause this innocent man to hang. To avert this injustice, the jury decided to assert what it believed to be their "ancient right" to judge the whole case and not just the facts, and brought in the verdict of "not guilty".

This is from my post #59 on this thread which appears to be what you are arguing for. It was the pattern in Scottish jurisprudence until 1728 wherein they brought back the "not guilty" verdict as an option.

Adam

What is a bit puzzling: the defendant had accidentally killed the Earl, so why was this being treated like a murder case at all?

Not guilty

In a notable trial in 1728, a defence lawyer (Robert Dundas) persuaded a jury to reassert its ancient right of acquitting, of finding a defendant "not guilty". The case involved Carnegie of Finhaven who had accidentally killed the Earl of Strathmore. The law (as it stood) required the jury merely to look at the facts and pass a verdict of "proven" or "not proven" depending on whether they believed the facts proved the defendant had killed the Earl. As the defendant had undoubtedly killed the Earl, if the jury brought in a "proven" they would in effect cause this innocent man to hang. To avert this injustice, the jury decided to assert what it believed to be their "ancient right" to judge the whole case and not just the facts, and brought in the verdict of "not guilty".

Use in other jurisdictions

The Scottish verdict has not been permanently adopted outside its home country, but it was sometimes used in
colonial Canada
, especially by some judges in southwestern
Ontario
. Its most famous use outside of Scottish law came when
Senator
Arlen Specter
tried to vote "not proven" on an article of
impeachment of Bill Clinton
[3]
(see
Lewinsky scandal
-- his votes on the two articles in question were recorded as "not guilty"), and when, at the
O.J. Simpson murder case
, various reformers, including Fred Goldman,
Ron Goldman
's father, pushed for a change to "not proven" because of what they felt was an incorrect
presumption of innocence
on the part of Simpson.
[4]

A recent proposal to introduce the not proven verdict into the United States is:

  • Samuel Bray, "Not Proven: Introducing a Third Verdict", 72
    U. Chi. L. Rev.
    1299 (2005).

Excerpt<br class="br"> In 1807 at the trial of Aaron Burr for treason, the jury was not content to return one of the usual verdicts, guilty or not guilty. The evidence at trial failed to prove Burr's guilt, but the jury was too suspicious of the scoundrel to declare him not guilty. Instead the jury offered this grudging acquittal: "We of the jury say that Aaron Burr is not proved to be guilty under this indictment by any evidence submitted to us." 1<br class="br"><br class="br"> Almost two hundred years later, a United States senator echoed the Burr acquittal in the impeachment trial of President Clinton. Disliking both of the traditional verdicts, Senator Arlen Specter offered a verdict drawn from Scottish law: not proven. 2 His vote was recorded, however, as not guilty. 3<br class="br"><br class="br"> Verdicts other than guilty and not guilty are exceptional in American criminal law, 4 yet some legal systems routinely use more than two verdicts. In Scotland, judges and juries in criminal trials choose from three verdicts: guilty, not proven, and not guilty. Not proven and not guilty are both acquittals, indistinguishable in legal consequence but different in connotation. Not guilty is for a defendant the jury thinks is innocent; 5 not proven, for a case with insufficient evidence of guilt. One verdict announces "legally innocent" and thus exonerates. The other says "inconclusive evidence" and fails to exonerate or even stigmatizes.<br class="br"><br class="br"> The American verdict of not guilty covers both of these grounds for acquittal.

Interesting links.

Edited by Xray

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Those expatiating about how wonderful it is that the jurors in the Casey Anthony case turned in a non-guilty verdict because it thwarts Nancy Grace might benefit from this NRO commentary by Fred Thompson. He explains why sometimes a case cannot be successfully prosecuted even when the evidence proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Those expatiating about how wonderful it is that the jurors in the Casey Anthony case turned in a non-guilty verdict because it thwarts Nancy Grace might benefit from this NRO commentary by Fred Thompson. He explains why sometimes a case cannot be successfully prosecuted even when the evidence proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Starbuckle:

Good article. Thomson is one of my more respected politicians.

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Those expatiating about how wonderful it is that the jurors in the Casey Anthony case turned in a non-guilty verdict because it thwarts Nancy Grace might benefit from this NRO commentary by Fred Thompson. He explains why sometimes a case cannot be successfully prosecuted even when the evidence proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

From the article:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/271499/why-i-wish-eric-holder-watched-anthony-trial-fred-thompson

[Thompson]: Until the Anthony verdict, lawyers thought that if you promise something in your opening statement and you didn’t deliver it, then you would be punished by the jury. It happened in the O. J. Simpson case, but that case was so laced with racial elements it hardly stands as precedent for much else. Casey’s lawyer promised “molestation” and “accidental drowning” and produced no evidence of either. The jury was instructed to consider only the evidence, not lawyers’ statements, but it is likely that some or all of them could not erase such dramatic and troubling images from their minds as they heard the evidence and thought about how the evidence squared with what the lawyer had said. It may have helped produce reasonable doubt.

Should it be true that Casey's lawyer pulled "molestation" out of thin air, this would be extremely ruthless toward those he claims to have molested the child.

Edited by Xray

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Should it be true that Casey's lawyer pulled "molestation" out of thin air, this would be extremely ruthless toward those he claims to have molested the child.

That's what they do. Who was the BIG winner in this case? The defense attorney. His reputation is made. He's a rock-lawyer superstar. His client? Social garbage. He should have had her cop a plea and spend 10 years in stir. If she wasn't killed in prison she might have had a chance with something left over in her life. She would have been perceived as having paid some price. Now that price will be extracted from her continuously by almost everyone she meets or deals with without surcease. She can't even fall back on her family.

--Brant

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In his book Outrage, the famous ex-prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi comments on the presumption of innocence:

p. 21:

"Contrary to common belief, the presumption of innocence applies only inside a courtroom. It has no applicability elsewhere, although the media do not seem to be aware of this. Even the editorial sections of major American newspapers frequently express the view, in reference to a pending case, that "we"--meaning the editors and their readers--have to presume that so-and-so is innocent. To illustrate that the presumption does not apply outside the courtroom, let's say an employer has evidence that an employee has committed theft. If the employer had to presume the person were innocent, he obviously couldn't fire the employee or do anything at all. But of course he not only can fire or demote the employee, he can report him to the authorities.

<..>

p. 23:

The defendant has no burden to prove his innocence. It is one thing to say that the defendant does not have to prove his innocence, and that in the absence of affirmative proof of guilt he is entitled to a not-guilty verdict even if he presented no evidence of his innocence at all. To go a step further, however, and say that he is legally presumed to be innocent when he has just been brought to court in handcuffs or with a deputy sheriff at his side seems to be hollow rhetoric. One day a defendant is going to stand up in court and tell the judge, "Your Honor, if I am legally presumed to be-innocent, why have I been arrested for this crime, why has a criminal complaint been filed against me, and why am I now here in court being tried?"

As any seasoned criminal trial lawyer will attest, most juries see through the transparent fiction of the presumption of innocence. Whether they verbalize it or not, as reasonable human beings they know that if the defendant seated at the counsel table in front of them were truly presumed to be innocent in the eyes of the law, they would not have been empaneled to hear and adjudicate the charges brought against the defendant by the law." (Vincent Bugliosi, Outrage).

Edited by Xray

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Should it be true that Casey's lawyer pulled "molestation" out of thin air, this would be extremely ruthless toward those he claims to have molested the child.

That's what they do. Who was the BIG winner in this case? The defense attorney. His reputation is made. He's a rock-lawyer superstar.

Definitely Casey's defense attorney is THE winner in this case.

I recall reading somewhere that there are no winners in this case, and if memory serves, it was Casey's defense attorney who said it. The 'tactical modesty' of such a comment would show once more just how smart Baez is.

Faced with a mountain of incriminating evidence against his client, Baez only had one choice: doing the "tightrope walk", as one could call it: i. e. he had to work into his story the implicating evidence not in dispute by either party without falling from the rope.

He succeeded. Whether it was in in the name of truth is irrelevant in this context. For the defense lawyer's duty is to his client only.

Edited by Xray

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CHOUTEAU, Oklahoma -- An Oklahoma woman believes outrage over the Florida murder case almost cost her her life. The 26-year-old says a crazed woman tried to kill her because the woman thought she was Casey Anthony.

It happened in Chouteau last Friday night, July 8, 2011, just days after the Casey Anthony verdict.

Article explains the alleged perpetrator, a black woman stalked her from work and followed her in her car and rammed her vehicle, spinning it around two times Here.

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http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/271499/why-i-wish-eric-holder-watched-anthony-trial-fred-thompson

Casey’s lawyer promised “molestation” and “accidental drowning” and produced no evidence of either. The jury was instructed to consider only the evidence, not lawyers’ statements

If I intepret this correctly, defense lawyers can come up with totally implausible stories which the jurors aren't even allowed to pick apart during their deliberations.

edited to fix link

Edited by Xray

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http://www.nationalr...onCasey’s lawyer promised “molestation” and “accidental drowning” and produced no evidence of either. The jury was instructed to consider only the evidence, not lawyers’ statements

If I intepret this correctly, defense lawyers can come up with totally implausible stories which the jurors aren't even allowed to pick apart during their deliberations.

here is the above link the one above was broken.

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http://www.nationalr...onCasey’s lawyer promised “molestation” and “accidental drowning” and produced no evidence of either. The jury was instructed to consider only the evidence, not lawyers’ statements

If I intepret this correctly, defense lawyers can come up with totally implausible stories which the jurors aren't even allowed to pick apart during their deliberations.

here is the above link the one above was broken.

I just fixed it. Hope it works now.

Edited by Xray

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http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/271499/why-i-wish-eric-holder-watched-anthony-trial-fred-thompson

When the Casey Anthony verdict came in Tuesday, my mind went back to my days as a young federal prosecutor. I tried a lot of bank-robbery cases and only lost one. That’s the one I remember.

The defendant’s name was “Mutt” Matlock, and he taught me a few things about juries and “slam dunk” cases. A man who looked an awful lot like Mutt held up a bank in rural middle Tennessee. He used a Lugar pistol, had a piece of tape on his face, and made off with several thousand dollars in cash. One of the cashiers gave the police a description, and they beat a hot trail to Mutt’s door. They found Mutt, a Lugar, a piece of tape on a blanket under the bed, and several thousand dollars in sequentially numbered bills. For me, it was one of those slam-dunk cases Eric Holder likes to talk about so much.

At the trial we proved all of this. I couldn’t believe my good luck when Mutt’s lawyer put him on the stand, giving me a chance to cross examine him. But Mutt put on the good ol’ country-boy routine. He had no idea how all that stuff got to his place. I tore him to shreds, taking him through the details and the mountain of evidence against him. Mutt was just bewildered. “I’d like to help you out, Mr. Thompson, but I just don’t know,” he said. He was literally defenseless against my onslaught.

When the jury came back with a not-guilty verdict, I almost fell out of my chair. When we adjourned, I asked the foreman how they reached their result. “Well,” he said, “he was so dumb and befuddled, we just didn’t think he could have pulled off a precision bank robbery like that.” My brilliant cross examination had helped Mutt implement his strategy.

As the sportscasters say after a big upset, “That’s why they play the game. No outcome is ever a sure thing, when you’re dealing with human skills, emotions, and understanding.

The defendant obviously got off with playing dumb and befuddled. Must have been quite a brilliant acting performance.

But I suppose if Thompson had been a more experienced prosecutor back then, he would have tackled the issue differently.

A prosecutor of Vincent Bugliosi's caliber would have had a field day in picking apart Matt playing dumb on all that incriminating evidence against him.

Faced with a mountain of incriminating evidence against his client, Baez only had one choice: doing the "tightrope walk", as one could call it: i. e. he had to work into his story the implicating evidence not in dispute by either party without falling from the rope.

He succeeded. Whether it was in in the name of truth is irrelevant in this context. For the defense lawyer's duty is to his client only.

It is interesting to see how Vincent Bugliosi himself, after becoming a defense lawyer, engaged on those evidentiary 'tightrope walks' himself to get his client off.

Has anyone here read his book And The Sea Will Tell, about his defense of murderer Buck Walker's girlfriend?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_the_Sea_Will_Tell

There has never been a smidgen of doubt in my mind that the girlfriend knew exactly what had happened i. e. that she knew Buck had committed the double murder.

But Bugliosi got her off. Imo he was absolutely brilliant in working out his defense.

Edited by Xray

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