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Neil deGrasse Tyson Beats The Legal System! [Pic]

Hits: 12016 | Rating: (2.7) | Category: Misc. | Added by: fancylad
Page: 1 2 Next >   Jump to: Bottom    Last Post
LordJim
Male, 50-59, Europe
 4607 Posts
Saturday, December 08, 2012 6:29:24 AM
OldOllie,

You are right about there being only direct (i.e. eye-witness) or circumstantial evidence. But as circumstantial evidence includes fingerprints, DNA, ballistics and other forensic evidence then circumstantial evidence carries far more weight.

Conviction on eye-witness evidence alone is notoriously unsafe, but sufficient circumstantial evidence (while not perfect) can establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

You used to hear on TV shows 'There are no witnesses, they only have circumstantial evidence.' as though that meant the cops had nothing much. But that could include finding the victim's body in your freezer, their blood on your clothes and in your hair, your fingerprints around their throat, your skin under their fingernails, a bullet from your gun in their skull, a hand-written list of 'How I plan to kill X' in your journal and your ad on Craigslist. All circumstantial, but you're going down.

OldOllie
Male, 60-69, Midwest US
 14388 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 10:50:01 PM
FYI, there are only 2 kinds of evidence: eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence. It usually requires a combination of both to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

BTW, I always get out of jury duty by telling them about the time a cop committed perjury to convict me of a traffic violation. I've never been picked.

lauriloo
Female, 40-49, Midwest US
 1805 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 10:38:19 PM
"slightly off-topic, but a better way to get out of jury duty is to show up to court in a Star Fleet uniform. google it; it happened in federal court in Little Rock several years ago."

Actually, that woman served as an alternate on the Whitewater jury in her uniform just fine. Well, until she broke the media gag rule because she couldn't resist talking to them about Star Trek. I happened to watch a doc film about Trekkies last night and she was a big part of it. Every day she showed up for court there were paparazzi waiting for her to see if she would still wear her uniform. She also wore her uniform to work at Sir Speedy and everyone there had to call her "Commander". Her bosses said she was odd but a good sort of odd that made her care about doing a good job. So that made her a good worker and A-ok with them.

SarahofBorg
Female, 18-29, Eastern US
 3573 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 7:49:56 PM
Convicting some one based only on eyewitness testimony is like believing in a story just because some one wrote it in a book. Repeatable empirical evidence is required for something to be scientific, it should be required for a conviction as well.

slut_etta
Female, 50-59, Southern US
 3373 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 6:26:45 PM
slightly off-topic, but a better way to get out of jury duty is to show up to court in a Star Fleet uniform. google it; it happened in federal court in Little Rock several years ago.

FoolsPrussia
Male, 30-39, Western US
 3399 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 2:11:13 PM
"Anecdotally, I identified the kid that stole my bicycle from me when I was 14 and they found it in his friends garage, disassembled.

So no, eyewitness evidence is not as unreliable as you may think, all the time."

That's pretty much the point, though. You may be a good eyewitness, but the next person might not be. If it falls on the lawyer to prove whether a person's testimony is accurate, you have to keep in mind that the lawyer's job is to ask questions that make his/her side appear to be correct, not to necessarily get the complete truth from a witness.

Gerry1of1
Male, 50-59, Western US
 33910 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 1:56:25 PM

Eyewitness' are less reliable than lie detectors, which are not admissable.
There's a wealth of studies out there on the topic and they all show the same thing, that a variety of other influences make eyewitnesses incredably inacurate. Here's one link.

CrakrJak
Male, 40-49, Midwest US
 17158 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 12:04:59 PM
brianlance: I understand that a person's memory isn't always 100% accurate, but that's what cross-examination by a lawyer is for, to find out any inconsistencies. Also, not everyone is as oblivious to their surroundings or the people they meet.

Anecdotally, I identified the kid that stole my bicycle from me when I was 14 and they found it in his friends garage, disassembled.

So no, eyewitness evidence is not as unreliable as you may think, all the time.

Suicism
Male, 18-29, Western US
 3672 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 10:21:30 AM
I submit Libertarian.

monkerz
Male, 30-39, Southern US
 142 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 9:27:38 AM
Genius! Thanks Neil, I have to answer a jury summons soon. Have served thrice prior, feel I deserve 1 sit out.

Cajun247
Male, 18-29, Southern US
 10273 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 9:06:44 AM
Imperical evidence regarding the unreliability of eyewitness testimony can be found at the Innocence Project's website.

GhettoNinja
Male, 30-39, Eastern US
 889 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 8:58:37 AM
I had a capias out for me due to a forgotten ticket, was called for jury duty. I served on the jury for a bank robbery case while being wanted myself (stupid ticket that was dropped later).

Wierd.

brianlance
Male, 30-39, Western US
 139 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 8:40:41 AM
@CrakrJak: This is what's wrong with eyewitness testimony: The Misinformation Effect

dm2754
Male, 40-49, Western US
 3122 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 8:40:28 AM
>What is so wrong with 'eyewitness testimony'?<

When my ex-wife work at the police education center. She would sign in all the cop before class. The during the class she would walk in an interrupt the teacher and hand him some papers and leave. Five min later the teacher would ask the cops in his class to write out a description of what she looked like. Most of the cops could not even though they seen her twice.

FoolsPrussia
Male, 30-39, Western US
 3399 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 8:30:03 AM
"God help me if my fate is to be decided by 12 people who were not smart enough to get out of jury duty."

Jury duty is interesting. You should try it.

putzco
Male, 30-39, Midwest US
 207 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 8:07:46 AM
God help me if my fate is to be decided by 12 people who were not smart enough to get out of jury duty.

FoolsPrussia
Male, 30-39, Western US
 3399 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 7:39:56 AM
Eyewitness testimony worked pretty well in the Salem Witch Trials.

Tiredofnicks
Male, 30-39, Europe
 4888 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 7:02:06 AM
Gerry1of1: Oh bravo sir. Bravo.

Tiredofnicks
Male, 30-39, Europe
 4888 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 6:49:40 AM
CrakrJak: Because human memory is NOT reliable, and are easily influenced by later input. If you want I can dig up some papers on it.

CrakrJak
Male, 40-49, Midwest US
 17158 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 6:47:48 AM
What is so wrong with 'eyewitness testimony'?

Seriously, If several people saw someone shoot and kill another person and that's all the evidence the cops have, then why not use it?


SmagBoy1
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 4243 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 6:37:05 AM
turdburglar, it's not "beyond a shadow of a doubt", it's "beyond a reasonable doubt". There's a pretty significant difference there. And while I agree that it's extremely important that there be good, solid evidence, sometimes there's not HD video of the crime with copious amounts of DNA strewn about. In those cases, sometimes we have to look at all of the evidence.

Casey Anthony, for example. It's not clear that she killed Caylee in the 1st degree (DA's mistake #1), but, evidence *does* suggest that she was the caregiver at the time of Caylee's death, even without an HD video or DNA, and that she was interested in killing without being found liable.

It's important to realize why humans sit juries rather than computers. If it was just and only about facts and beyond all doubt, with no "reasonable" thrown in, we could populate juries with computers in every case. I'm not about convicting the innocent. At all. But not every case is CSI.

burbclaver
Male, 50-59, Western US
 859 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 4:35:30 AM
The US legal system has an insatiable need for jurors meaning that you get called for duty every couple of years. This leads to any intelligent person with an inclination to know all the dodges for getting out of it. I know many people in England who have never been called to duty their whole life, if it happened would consider it an honor to serve.

drawman61
Male, 50-59, Europe
 6033 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 2:38:32 AM
@SminkyPinky: I thought that was a given for I-A-B readers

SminkyPinky
Female, 30-39, Europe
 232 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 2:06:22 AM
I'm lucky, I'm not actually allowed to do jury duty. I'm not a fellon, I'm a registered mental.

tommy2X4
Male, 50-59, Eastern US
 3369 Posts
Friday, December 07, 2012 1:01:46 AM
I always get out of jury duty by saying that I am a care giver to my aging relative.

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