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Black & White

Posted by Rick · April 2nd, 2005 · 1 Comment

In the old days, when we wanted to convict someone of a crime, we charged them. The prosecution was then bound — by law — to prove them guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Now, reasonable doubt isn’t just any old doubt. As the California Jury Instruction on “reasonable doubt” makes clear, this would be silly.

[Reasonable doubt is] not mere possible doubt; because everything relating to human affairs is open to some possible or imaginary doubt. — CALJIC 2.90.

But this is a difficult standard for prosecutors. To convict someone “beyond a reasonable doubt,” you have to actually prove the crimes for which the defendant has — or defendants have — been charged. And that’s just too much work.

I mean — let’s get real — isn’t it enough that the prosecution says the guy (or gal) committed the crime? I mean, shit!, if the prosecutor says Joe Blow is a child molester, shouldn’t we string him up? What? Are you soft on child molesters? What? Are you a child molester? Oh, clearly, you must be a child molester. I mean, why else would you be protecting a child molester?

Only…uh…we forgot to make a case that the guy actually is a child molester.

Well, he’s weird!

Oy. I forgot that was a crime in California.

Sheesh. Remember when technicolor showed up in television? Now that was a thriller! (If you’re less than 45, you probably don’t remember; try to imagine it. It’s a little bit like real life.) The fact of the matter is that this increasingly theocratic world we live in seems to have lost all that. Everything today is black and white.

A lot of people have asked me, “How can you possibly think that Michael Jackson is innocent?”

Let me offer you a clue, completely free of charge: The Michael Jackson Case: Why the ruling on previous allegations is unfair to the defendant.

Read it and get back to me.

Categories: Constitutional Issues


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Larraine // Apr 4, 2005 at 10:21 am

    When various Supreme Court decisions were handed down that did not allow prosecutors to ignore the constitution, a lot of people got upset about “loopholes.” These are not “loopholes,” these are Constitutional Rights. Even guilty people have rights under the constitution. However, politicians on both sides of the aisle have used this as a club to get elected or re-elected. “Elect me. I’m for law and order.” Well, who isn’t? Problem is – it depends on your version of law and order. Even Michael Jackson is entitled to a fair trial. Yes, even Michael Jackson.

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