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Beyond a reasonable doubt.
February 1, 2012
12:06 am
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So I'm on jury duty, day two, and was brought in to hear about a case. When they got to the question of whether or not I was comfortable about rendering a verdict based on "beyond a reasonable doubt", I was conflicted. I still am after looking it up to reassure myself that I understood it.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictiona ... able+Doubt

The standard that must be met by the prosecution's evidence in a criminal prosecution: that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime, thereby overcoming the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

If the jurors or judge have no doubt as to the defendant's guilt, or if their only doubts are unreasonable doubts, then the prosecutor has proven the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the defendant should be pronounced guilty.

The term connotes that evidence establishes a particular point to a moral certainty and that it is beyond dispute that any reasonable alternative is possible. It does not mean that no doubt exists as to the accused's guilt, but only that no Reasonable Doubt is possible from the evidence presented.

Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof that must be met in any trial. In civil litigation, the standard of proof is either proof by a preponderance of the evidence or proof by clear and convincing evidence. These are lower burdens of proof. A preponderance of the evidence simply means that one side has more evidence in its favor than the other, even by the smallest degree. Clear and Convincing Proof is evidence that establishes a high probability that the fact sought to be proved is true. The main reason that the high proof standard of reasonable doubt is used in criminal trials is that such proceedings can result in the deprivation of a defendant's liberty or even in his or her death. These outcomes are far more severe than in civil trials, in which money damages are the common remedy.
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Clear and Convincing Proof; Due Process of Law; Preponderance of Evidence; Reasonable Doubt.

beyond a reasonable doubt adj. part of jury instructions in all criminal trials, in which the jurors are told that they can only find the defendant guilty if they are convinced "beyond a reasonable doubt" of his or her guilt. Sometimes referred to as "to a moral certainty," the phrase is fraught with uncertainty as to meaning, but try: "you better be damned sure." By comparison it is meant to be a tougher standard than "preponderance of the evidence" used as a test to give judgment to a plaintiff in a civil (non-criminal) case. (See: reasonable doubt, moral certainty, conviction)

So after reading that, I'm inclined to bring up the arguments for the existence of unicorns from the religion forum. I also question the "moral certainty" part as well. I'd like to expand further but right now is not the time. I gotta figure out what the hell to feed my angry and hungry family here. 😡

February 1, 2012
7:35 am
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greeney2
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Rykuss, I have served on 3 cases, 2 went to deliberated judgements and, 1 I was eliminated during Jury selection.

First, the one thing I know for sure is you should not be discussing your case with anyone, including asking questions on message boards, or privately looking things up and confusing yourself when you get home. Secondly, during jury selection, their questions if it sparks something in your mind, you should raise your hand and ask them to clarify it. If you did not understand what reasonable doubt is, and others may have the same question, raise your hand and ask them to define reasonable doubt, and how that relates to simple doubt, or what ever question in your mind it congers up. The last thing you should be doing is walking away unsure, and going home to look it up, independant from what the Judge will define and tell you reasonable doubt is.

Asking for a legal discription of reasonable doubt is a good question, and should be explained to all the jurors. You should not be seeking the answer from anyplace except the Judge, according to the laws of the state you are serving, not off the internet where it may be some opionon that is legally wrong, and not a legal defintion.

With all due respect, do not return to this subject, or discuss it with the board, until you are done with your trial or dismissed from your case. This is exactly what they ment when they told you adjorn for the night, do not discuss this case with anyone. Thats means fellow jurors, friends, or Family, or message boards/facebooks. Nobody means nobody, including and exespecially us.

February 1, 2012
1:58 pm
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I'm not on the case, because I was conflicted about reasonable doubt. I was not selected. I understood the legalese definition the judge and attorneys gave me and I wanted to look it up just to be sure. I didn't disclose any details of the case, nor would I. This is a discussion about why I am conflicted about it and to gather other's views about it. This isn't about a case, this is a discussion about people giving a verdict based on "beyond a reasonable doubt" and if they are comfortable rendering such a verdict with or without tangible, concrete, physical evidence to back it up.

In my opinion, it's like saying, "Hey, we don't have any evidence here but sit down a spell and let me weave an elaborate tale!". Laugh So given the compelling arguments for the existence of unicorns, let's assemble a jury and put this debate to bed already.

I mean, yeah it worked for Mattlock and Perry Mason because the guilty party always jumped up and screamed, "Alright I admit I did it!". Laugh It doesn't work like that in the real world.

February 1, 2012
4:24 pm
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humphreys
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I'm honored that my Unicorn analogy has made it into a legal court battle.

What is your expected outcome of such a court battle, in favor of Unicorn's existence beyond reasonable doubt, or not?

I'm just trying to get an idea of where you're going with this :eh:

"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris

February 1, 2012
7:27 pm
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greeney2
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The case begins the minute they called you for jury examination, and you should not be doing what you are doing right now. You should not be second guessing either prosocution or defence. You are doing the system a real diservive to continue to bring this to the board and engage in discussion at any part of it.

February 1, 2012
7:50 pm
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"humphreys" wrote: I'm honored that my Unicorn analogy has made it into a legal court battle.

What is your expected outcome of such a court battle, in favor of Unicorn's existence beyond reasonable doubt, or not?

I'm just trying to get an idea of where you're going with this :eh:

Well if people take so much stock in the Bible and if other historical sources are to be taken seriously and entered into the realm of evidence or used in debates, why not unicorns? We can render a verdict based on this kind of evidence, devoid of any physical evidence and decide the fate of another human being "So help me God" but unicorns would be absurd? Some people have an amazing talent for public speaking, putting forth an argument or speech that can sway people based on emotion.

In a society whose laws are drenched with religious overtones, I'm asked to render a verdict based on moral certainty as opposed to physical evidence. Of course, I am given the right to state any objections I might have, which I did and was not selected for the case. I don't expect everyone or anyone really to agree with me on this but thought it would be interesting to see another person's views on this.

As for any court case, I doubt any such case would see the light of day. It has been brushed aside into the realm of mysticism even though I think you've proven that one could make a compelling argument otherwise. Although as things like that are pointed out, people are quick to state that they no longer take such things literally. As usual, only the parts they "feel good" about are to be taken literally.

February 1, 2012
7:58 pm
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"greeney2" wrote: The case begins the minute they called you for jury examination, and you should not be doing what you are doing right now. You should not be second guessing either prosocution or defence. You are doing the system a real diservive to continue to bring this to the board and engage in discussion at any part of it.

Will you stop dictating the law to me, you clearly do not grasp it yet feel compelled to explain it to me. I am not on that or any case, I have not been instructed by any magistrate not to discuss the laws of our nation with you or anyone else. I am no longer a juror as I was dismissed this morning. I was instructed by the judge not to discuss the details pertaining to that case. I haven't violated those instructions, as I stated before had you bothered to read what I wrote, you'd understand this is a discussion about a particular law.

Yet again, you are over reacting to a situation that does not exist.

February 1, 2012
8:33 pm
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greeney2
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Your beginning was as if you are still being examined for selection and that you had not been dismissed yet. Since you said this morning you were dismissed, last night you were not. Thats not overreacting, I was just sharing with you what is, and is not proper, if you are still being examined for that case.

When you adjourned for the day yesterday, what did the judge say to the perspective jurors? On every case I was ever on, each time we adjouned even for a 10 minute break, we were admonished not to talk about the case at all.

Why do you think you were dismissed and not accepted for the jury?

February 1, 2012
10:44 pm
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"greeney2" wrote: Your beginning was as if you are still being examined for selection and that you had not been dismissed yet. Since you said this morning you were dismissed, last night you were not. Thats not overreacting, I was just sharing with you what is, and is not proper, if you are still being examined for that case.

When you adjourned for the day yesterday, what did the judge say to the perspective jurors? On every case I was ever on, each time we adjouned even for a 10 minute break, we were admonished not to talk about the case at all.

Why do you think you were dismissed and not accepted for the jury?

We were told not to discuss the case while we waited outside for them to select the jury for the case. The jury was selected and the rest of us dismissed. We went home and were told to report to jury assembly this morning as normal. The only things I knew about the case were the charges and the method for rendering a verdict. That's it. Those of us dismissed weren't given any other instructions and as far as I know the trial was to begin after we left.

As to why I wasn't selected, I don't know and honestly I don't care. Perhaps they did not like my responses to questions, maybe they didn't feel I was "impartial" enough. I answered honestly and that's what I was asked to do. As they said, there are no wrong answers.

February 2, 2012
3:44 am
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greeney2
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My first 2 trials were civil trials, one a compicated real estate scam, involving an attorney being sued for Malpractice. Trial was 3 weeks long and we deliberated for 3 days.

My second trial was malpractice against a dentist who cut the lingual nerve extracting a wisdom tooth, leaving the person lifelong pain and loss of taste. We deliberated 3 days also after 3 weeks of trial. We gave a huge award based on Judges insturctions awards should be based on the persons age and years expected yet to live. The award was rolled back to the deep pockets maximum of $250,000. We were convinced by 2 expert whitnesses from UCLA. I happened after the trial to loose a tooth myself and told the oral surgeon about the case I was on. Instantly he knew the attorney group, and the experts, told me they are well known, to dentists in the area becasue they specialize in dental malpractice claims, that the experts were regarded as a joke to other dentists. I was not sure after all was said and done that our jury was duped, by just another lawsuit mill, that gets away with these kind of claims that are carefully engineered. They specialize in certain things and led the jury down the primrose path, which we may have fallen for. We did find out that the man suing, after the morning of the verdict, had decided to have a nerve surgury, unnerving the teeth that now created pain, so we didn;t think he was faking injury.

In my third trial, it was a double murder trial, and being held right around the Holidays, and I did not want to do it, let alone be on the hook during the holidays. The prosocuter looked very familar to me, maybe seen him on television or somewhere, but what ever mental message I may have telegraphed him, he dismissed me on the second day. He had made eye to eye contact with me several times, trying to read me, or figure out what was in my head. I was actually shocked, becasuse the Judge asked if my company would extend my paid service to 25 days, and they agreed, so I thought I was definatly going to be picked. I also do not know why I was dismissed, and went from hoping I didn't have to do that trial, to feeling a little hurt I was dumped. That lasted until I hit the door, and knew I was done, and relieved. It was not going to be a death penalty case. He was convicted I read a few weeks later.

I've served enough, its someone elses turn now. When I worked my company paid for it, but retired it would be at my expense.

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