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Why let truth and reason interfere when you have the opportunity to kill?
Posted by Ruchira Paul at 12:12 PM in Ignorance & Chutzpah, Law & Philosophy | Permalink
I was going to discuss this problem (it's been around for a while) during the previous post on law, executions, etc. I didn't because it sounds preposterous and many people find it hard to believe. In the past few years a case with a similar issue went to the Supreme Court. I didn't follow the resolution of that case.
This brings us back to the issue I've discussed before. Our system laws is an abstract calculus. It stands on the fairness of the jury process, not on the ability of the jury to find the truth. The legal position on truth is captured in the idea that it is the jury that is the determiner of fact. To argue that the jury made a mistake in a determination of fact is not necessarily a reason to change a jury verdict. That is what you have in the Texas case you posted.
The fact is that progress in the areas of forensic science, the methods of detecting, and access to data bases is outpacing our progress in law and procedure.
Norman Costa |
October 18, 2011 at 01:20 AM
Thanks, Norman. I thought of your previous post when I saw this preposterous piece of news.
Exactly. And that is how it should be. We cannot stick to arcane ideas of law and order, specially those involving capital crime which are argued and decided largely on forensic evidence. Science has made enormous strides in defining what constitutes reliable evidence. The law should adapt to the advancement of that knowledge and not cling to the notion of the "jury being the determiner of facts," even when facts unearthed later point to something completely different from what the jury was presented with initially. To not allow that is just plain stupid and the law must be amended to accommodate revision of evidence, even when it is discovered after a jury verdict. The value of human life must take precedence over time honored but sometimes outdated laws.
October 18, 2011 at 09:58 AM
Yeah. I think a better way to put it is, Law and procedure are not keeping pace with progress in the areas of forensic science, methods of detecting, and access to database information.
Norman Costa |
October 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM
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