Guns of Infinity



Even those considered “experts” have no real way of knowing - so I apologize if it felt I was attacking you or another. The one take-away that I can say seems to be true though is: what was ok just a few years ago will not be ok in the near future and going forward.

Arnold Schwarzenegger would not be elected governor nor I think Bill Clinton be able to turn everyone against his accusers if their past situations were happening 10 years from now.


I’d offer a reply, but this Onion article pretty much sums it up.


There is something stopping the lawyers though? That is the entire reason the judge is there. I get that who you get as a judge has a lot of influence on how the “game is refereed” but that is so why appeals exist.

I mean it’s flawed by any stretch of the imagination, but really like a democratic system it the best idea we’ve had so far…


Be careful, Sputnik and other credible news sources might reprint this article and spread its “truth” among their viewership.


But that doesn’t necessarily stop the lawyers from playing entirely within the rules and still building a narrative based on nothing but entirely true pieces of information which are “innocuous” in isolation.

I’d think Sputnik in particular would be supporting the GOP in this one.


I would say this is more symptomatic of the defense than the prosecution. The entire system is designed to be weighted in the defense’s favor and for good reason. In the US at least there are so many cases that need to go to trial if the prosecutor doesn’t think they have a slam dunk they’ll drop it.


Yet the problem remains that the two legal teams are presenting two narratives built from (ideally) 100% true statements. In short, two true stories from different perspectives, the same way two peer-reviewed academic papers can use different data points to come to wildly different conclusions. It still requires critical thinking to disentangle and place those presented narrative into context.


How is it the best? How is having 12 fallible components better than one? The legal institutions in my country seem to be doing as well (or as badly, mind you) as the US American ones with the main differences owed to different laws and different practice thereof. I’d like to refer back to the OJ case where a criminal jury found him not guilty while the civil one did. (I’m still confused how this isn’t double jeopardy anyway even decades after the fact.)


That’s not how it works though all the defense is trying to show is that the prosecution’s case is flawed. They aren’t arguing separate narratives. They are arguing about that what the prosecution’s presentation of the facts mean in terms of the charges brought against the defendant. The only thing that they have to talk about in court is what is brought up by the government.

Because the all 12 of those fallible components need to agree unanimously to convict and punish one of their fellow citizens for the commission of crime. I know I rather have 12 get out of jail free cards rather than one.

Your right that our judicial system tends to allow otherwise guilty people go free, but that is the bargain we have made with each other so the government has a very hard time punishing innocent people.

The civil trial was the Goldman family vs OJ Simpson seeking monetary compensation for damages while the criminal trial was the People of California v OJ Simpson. A law suit has a different burden of proof for the determination of liability.


Which basically means the same thing: the prosecution is presenting a narrative that implies the defendant is guilty, while the defence is trying to contest that narrative by disputing that narrative, which means they’re implicitly creating their own version of that narrative where the defendant is not guilty.


Its not an equal relationship though. They defense isn’t required to present any fact only cast doubt on the ones presented by the government. If the government presents evidence from say a blood test all the defense has to do to discredit it is prove that it is possible to make a mistake with the blood test used. They don’t actually have to refute the results.

In the above case both of those things can be facts. The jury is required to disregard the government’s evidence though even if both are facts. To the point most likely that the judge would actually direct them not to consider it if it had managed to be briefed at all.


Which still creates two competing narratives: one in which contextualises the blood test as accurate and one which contextualises it as possibly inaccurate. The jury can be instructed to disregard the first narrative, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily will, especially if they find the defense’s argument to be particularly spurious.

I also think we may be using different definitions of the term “narrative” here.


I don’t know maybe. My point is that it isn’t like history debate where reasonable people can disagree on the impact of the Roman Empire on Mediterranean trade. In the US criminal Justice system however, the automatic position is the the defendant is innocent. If both lawyers walk into the room with equally compelling “narratives” the defense wins.

If the prosecution walks in with even a slightly flawed narrative they automatically lose is probably a better way to put it.


The problem is, for the system to work, it relies on the jury to also function as it is intended, and I have my doubts on how perfectly untrained, fallible individuals specifically chosen for their unremarkable (in relevance to the case) nature can manage that reliably, especially once their personal biases come into play.


And you should that is why they have to agree unanimously, and their decision to subject to appeal both during and after the trial. If any bias discovered can be brought to the legal test of reasonable doubt upon appeal the entire trial is thrown out.

Again i’ll freely admit it is subject to flaws. Particularly bias that is exceptionally widespread like racism, but the deck is stacked heavily in favor of the accused.


Which isn’t necessarily a good thing. We consider false convictions to be worse than the guilty escaping justice, but both are still pretty awful in the individual and in the context wider societal context.


That I’ll heartily disagree with. The relationship between the accused and the government is inherently unequal. The court system being setup to protect us from that government is exactly as it should be for long-term social welfare and stability.


That same judicial system serves as a channel for the wronged to pursue justice against both the state and the other citizens. In that sense, the the court system is only reinforcing that power imbalance, not compensating for it.


Criminal justice is different that than seeking compensation as I pointed out about the OJ Simpson Trials. Ultimately locking people up isn’t really about the victims it’s about the state gaining and maintaining an orderly society. Law suits are normally how we help victims.

During the government is a whole other bag of worms and the legal procedures the US are totally different. Both parties can appeal for example.



Which still doesn’t address my primary concern, which is that of the jury being susceptible to “exceptionally widespread” bias you mentioned. Personally, I’d feel that more critical thinking skills would allow individual jurors to interrogate and acknowledge their biases in such cases.