Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Evidence Is Circumstantial, At Best

OK, I've had enough of this shit!!! I just read it again this morning. People toss out the term "circumstantial evidence" as if it inherently implies the evidence in question is of the approximate value of a politician's campaign promises (e.g., "No New taxes, " or "I'm a unifier, not a divider").

Here are examples of evidence that are inherently considered to rise above the tag "circumstantial": a confession by the perpetrator (e.g., "I did it"), and eyewitness testimony (e.g., "I saw him do it"). Did I miss any?

On the other hand, here are examples of "circumstantial evidence": the defendant's DNA was found at the crime scene; the defendant's fingerprints were on the murder weapon; that murder weapon was found hidden in a locked room in the back corner of the basement of the defendant's home; the coroner estimated time of death between 9:15 and 9:45 PM and the defendant was stopped for a traffic violation 6 blocks from the murder scene at 10:03 PM and had the victim's wedding ring in his pocket; etc.

Look, I'm no attorney. But, don't even get me started on the "accuracy" of eyewitness testimony, especially as compared to that of DNA testing. And, the fact remains that in many, many cases, there is no reliable eyewitness testimony, and there is no confession. In such cases, the only option is "circumstantial evidence." Deal with it.

Rant over.


Blogger Beth said...

Nothing better than getting to rant on your blog. Go for it, Haahnster.

10:27 AM, July 08, 2006  
Blogger haahnster said...

I should be working...

Oh, well. Plenty of time for that this afternoon and tomorrow.

Due dates are so harsh.

10:30 AM, July 08, 2006  
Blogger Beth said...

It's Saturday. You should be playing with Emily.

12:24 PM, July 08, 2006  
Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Smoking pot seems to help when the world is at your door.l

9:02 AM, July 10, 2006  

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