O J Simpson.

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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby jmfryar » Fri Jun 27, 2003 8:49 am

Juuuuust to clear the air a bit...
Beyond a shadow of a doubt is not a legal test. If that were the case, we'd have one prison, and there'd be more guards than inmates...

Criminal trials are beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, if after all the evidence is in, a reasonable person (whoever that might be - there's a legal test for that too if you're interested in it) would have a doubt about the persons guilt, they are let go. Keep in mind that not guilty is NOT the same as innocent...if after a not guilty plea you want to be labeled as innocent, you have to make a motion for that - it's a separate hearing. And it's NOT real common that someone is succesful.

Civil trials are by preponderance of evidence. That means 51%. In other words, after all the evidence is in, the jury weighs it and determines who's at fault (not 'guilty' - that's a criminal trial term). If it's close, it's literally the 51% line - if you feel that someone is just slightly less wrong than the other person, they win.

let me tell ya, there have been some BIZARRE results due to this test.

OJ's jury, after hearing all the evidence (that most of us slept through - I've been in a courtroom for DNA testimony - I swear they look for doctors who speak in monotones) decided that there was a doubt - where was the extra blood? Why didnt the glove fit? Where did the missing evidence go? His attorneys created enough doubt in their minds that they found him not guilty.

That can sometimes be the defense attorneys job in a criminal trial - not proving innocence, but creating doubt...

His civil trial jury only neded to feel that he slightly might have done it. Bang, verdict.

I hope that this has been informative!
Mike - Law Student at large
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby BenODen » Fri Jun 27, 2003 10:47 am

YAY! Thanks Mike! A real legal mind to put the rest of us lay-TV-Media lawyers in our place! You're right, shadow of a doubt sounds good, but yea... The guards would be having some killer pickup basketball games if that were the burden.

Thanks for the correction.. The overall point that some doubt is enough for an acquittal is still the common one to the thread though. I've never served on a jury (lucky me!).. Are there concrete things said that help define reasonable doubt? Reasonable to me isn't reasonable to the next guy...

I rail against the people who say 'the truth is relative' but I'm beginning to understand that many times, the varying motivations of the parties involved make it impossible to KNOW the truth without doubt... AIEEEE!

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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby jmfryar » Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:02 am

You asked for it...you got it...

typical jury instruction for reasonable doubt!!

The law presumes the defendant to be innocent of crime. Thus the defendant, although accused, begins the trial with a "clean slate"----with no evidence against him/her. And the law permits nothing but legal evidence presented before the jury to be considered in support of any charge against the accused. So the presumption of innocence alone is sufficient to acquit the defendant, unless the jurors are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt after careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence in the case.
It is not required that the state prove guilt beyond all possible doubt. The test is one of reasonable doubt. A reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense----the kind of doubt that would make a reasonable person hesitate to act. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore, must be proof of such a convincing character that a reasonable person would not hesitate to rely and act upon it.
The jury will remember that a defendant is never to be convicted on mere suspicion or conjecture.
The burden is always on the state to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This burden never shifts to a defendant, for the law never imposes upon a defendant in a criminal case the burden or duty of calling any witnesses or producing any evidence.
So, if the jury, after careful and impartial consideration of all of the evidence in the case, has a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the charge, it must acquit. If the jury views the evidence in the case as reasonably permitting either of two conclusions---one of innocence, the other of guilt---the jury should of course adopt the conclusion of innocence.
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Gaby » Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:50 am

OJ is a sleezeball! His acting classes definitely payed off in that court room. He has a history of violent behavior and in my mind he is guilty as sin! It's a good thing that I am a firm believer in "What goes around, comes around!".

Mark Fuhrman definitely didn't suffer after that trial, since now he is a well payed commentator for Fox News. :roll:

The ones I feel truly sorry for are OJ kids. Can you imagine having a father who, although not convicted, is the killer of your mother? :mad:
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby jmfryar » Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:57 am

You want to see something sad...go sit in family court in any local courthouse and listen to the "adults" battling it out...then remember that they have kids...

It's amazing how some so-called parents perform actions without for a second considering their kids...and then when they claim that it's FOR the sake of their children...sigh...

are we sure that selective eugenics legislation is out of the question??
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Gaby » Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:05 pm

Originally posted by jmfryar:

It's amazing how some so-called parents perform actions without for a second considering their kids...and then when they claim that it's FOR the sake of their children...sigh...
Agreed! As my dad used to say: "Stick 'em all in a big sack, and beat it with big stick. You never hit the wrong one." :D
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby jmfryar » Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:31 pm

ain't a bag big enough...can we just use the state of New Jersey?
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby BenODen » Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:50 pm

Depending on not so common sense in jury instructions. *sigh* I see now...

Thanks for the insights!

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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jun 27, 2003 1:00 pm

Originally posted by jmfryar:
are we sure that selective eugenics legislation is out of the question??
Do I get to do the selecting? I'm sure I can improve the breed.

We could probably do the same thing by making pregnancy-by-accident impossible. If everyone had to knowingly volunteer for parental duties before acquiring kids, wouldn't that be a step in the right direction?
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby jmfryar » Fri Jun 27, 2003 1:09 pm

I still say that everyone gets reversibly sterilized and then after completing 'X' courses, including:

1) parenting rights and responsibilities

2) basic living skills- including how to fill out a bank check, how to apply for a loan, read a basic lease or contract...

3) childrens rights and responsiblities

4) They have to keep a pet alive and healthy for one year

5) They have to spend time with children in various age ranges...

THEN they can have the sterilization reversed...

no preerequisites for employment, sexual orientation, skill or class...just an exposure to make sure that you really, really want to do this...

Think the Catholic Church would go for it?
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jun 27, 2003 1:29 pm

I like that list of basic skills. Especially the requirement to keep a pet alive and healthy for a year.

I'm not too interested in the official catholic position on the subject. Their policy board seems to be composed of non-parents who nevertheless designate themselves as "Father". I'm disinclined to listen to parenting advice from folk who haven't parented.

Old grandparents, now, that's the place to get advice. Lots of it. Then you select the parts that work for you.
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby jmfryar » Fri Jun 27, 2003 1:31 pm

They also have the perspective and don't worry about ego...they'll just tell you like it is...gotta respect a laid back, been there, done that, attitude...
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Gabriele » Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:38 pm

Originally posted by jmfryar:
2) basic living skills- including how to fill out a bank check, how to apply for a loan, read a basic lease or contract...
So why are American's (yes I am one them) so stupid????
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby dkm32 » Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:07 pm

I think it's because, historically, Americans have put education second to almost everything.

Heck, if you could chop down a tree, built a cabin, kill a bear or two, you could live quite nicely. If, by chance, you were a farmer, come harvest time, get that kid outta that school and into that field. We make a big deal out of someone who, with no education, has become a multi-millionaire. Movie, rock, and sport stars come to mind. (There, that got us a bit back on topic. ;) ) The teacher who has put in years learning to teach, we pay them in pennies and expect miracles from them.

Gotta get out heads out of the sand.

<small>[ 06-27-2003, 07:10 PM: Message edited by: dkm32 ]</small>
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby BenODen » Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:58 pm

I think what makes me grumpy about the education system is that we give the schools here in colorado $6,000 plus some per pupil in a school, yet it's not enough they say. I run the numbers and it seems like teachers should be well paid.

In my high school there were more or less 30 kids in a class.. BUT for argument sake, let's say 22, as a number the education community would like to have in a class room. So, say we spend 1,000 dolars a year for books to be generous. So, that's $120,000 a year to outfit a classroom, and support the 'infrastructure'. (I think this is an accurate view of how much money is spent, since a classroom has some set of kids all day long, more or less.)

Administration seems to be the whipping boy du jour, but it doesn't make sense..

I do all the math but the numbers don't add up...

Nobody seems to rush out and say *THIS* is how the money is spent... Here's the web site, knock yourselves out!

Are there any school board members lurking here that can explain where the black hole is? I'm not even going to try to understand how the St. Vrain school district ended up with a $13.8 million dollar shortfall this year... I think my brain would melt.

If the money doesn't fit, you must acquit! (I'm not even sure what that means, but it's on topic...)
-Benito

<small>[ 06-27-2003, 08:00 PM: Message edited by: Benito Of Denver ]</small>
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Gabriele » Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:14 pm

Originally posted by dkm32:
I think it's because, historically, Americans have put education second to almost everything.
Donna, writing a check, etc... should not be taught in school...give me a break... where are the parents???? Growing up and being educated in Germany, they taught is reading, writing, arithmetic, plus some...check writing, social skills, etc. was reserved for parents. Hopefully I misunderstood your post!
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Serenity » Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:34 pm

Maybe the problem with the educational system is the just about the same as the other "systems", i.e. nobody wants to get involved. Just toss money at the problem and have somebody else fix it for me because I don't have the time nor the motivation to fix that huge mess!

You're right, the parents need to be more involved in their kids education. Sit down with them and help them figure it out! Challenge them but also encourage them.
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby blueiris » Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:35 pm

As far as who sits on juries, Leigh, please note that I said "most."

Barfle: Yes, of course, you are correct, certainly many blue-collar workers and retired folks (especially here in San Diego County) end up in the jury pools. The State of California has made some changes over the past few years in the jury selection process that seem to be successful in recruiting "other" types of jurors. The most recent "huge" case here in San Diego County (David Westerfield) caused a media sensation. The names of the jurors were kept confidential but their ages and occupations were published in the press. The jury seemed to represent an accurate cross section of the population here. That said, I can only speak to my experience on jury here in California; don't know how other states process jury selection.

I wonder if OJ is still seaching for the "real killer"? :)
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Sat Jun 28, 2003 9:40 am

The jury selections for the panels I've been on were pulled from a pool of:

a) Registered voters
and
b) Licensed drivers

That's pretty inclusive. It used to be the list of all registered voters that San Diego County used, but a few years ago the list of all licensed drivers was added. I don't know many people who are neither registered to vote nor licensed to drive. Selection from this pool of potential jurors is computerized and random. And I think the dual-source list is now state-wide.

As for the jury duty excuse, it's not all that difficult to get yourself excused for financial hardship, but you have to ask to be excused.

Sitting in the jury-duty lounge is boring, so take a book and a magazine and your knitting, or embroidery, or whatever portable hobbies you have. (There were four of us knitting last time I served and we made instant friends. We all had other things to do, too.)A few people brought in board games, and one area at the back actually had a dungeons & dragons event going.

Actual service on a jury, or even a jury panel, is an education in applied law. On the whole, my experiences with the jury system have been both positive and worthwhile.
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Re: O J Simpson.

Postby OperaTenor » Sat Jun 28, 2003 10:48 am

Originally posted by Leigh:

I wonder if OJ is still seaching for the "real killer"? :)
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