David L. Hoof

Strictly Speaking


April 18, 2014

Tags: proof, doubt, uncertainty, absolute proof, proof beyond reasonable doubt, conviction, faith


In science, a demonstration of a final, unalterable truth that is theoretically unattainable. Evidence and parsimonious interpretation and Occam’s razor and cutting edge technologies stretch inductively for the Theory of Everything, but as in any process aiming at wisdom by honesty, the quest never ends.

The unavoidable implication for the legal process is fatal, because twelve minds are asked for a finding of “proof beyond reasonable doubt” on the basis of evidence that is, by its nature, incomplete, presented in a process where experts contradict one another, in a forum where the objective is not justice, but the pursuit of public confidence, restoration of the illusion of a safety, advancing the political careers of prosecutors, and the concealment or falsification of evidence by the prosecution is not determined by a search for truth.

If jurors were all skeptical and fulfilled their duties correctly, a guilty verdict would never result. In reasoning people there can always be a reasonable doubt. Seeking to prove otherwise requires a willing suspension of disbelief. One innocent wrongly convicted would establish this verity. Project Innocence has produced many hundreds

Selected Works

suspense mystery
For every emerging independent woman today, men can be little better than annoying at best and downright monstrous at worst. A creation of a stolen NSA computer program, Fiona Halloran is launched into the present to assist faltering novelist Andy Delaney capture the market that has evaded him, the one for and about women. But there’s an emerging risk: increasing personal danger to them both. This doesn’t stop when they finish his latest novel, Babes & Bastards. It just spills over to the next best seller in a series starring Fiona Halloran, Nun No More. Look for it soon in a bookstore near you.
In the dying Montana town of Sanctuary, helf-Crow Deputy Redfawn Kravitz relentlessly tracks the killer of Senate candidate Jeb Holloway, who then starts picking off the best suspects, one-by-one.
Using only sounds as clues, a blind man must locate his six-year-old niece before kidnappers kill her.
historical mystery
Just before Oktoberfest in 1931, Adolf Hitler's niece and secret lover is found dead in a locked room in the Fuhrer's Munich flat. Pressured by the Nazis, the police rule it a suicide, but evidence suggests a cold blooded execution. If the killer can be outed, widespread outrage will thwart a maniac's rush to power.
A cheated wife goes way overboard to get revenge on - and a fair settlement from -- her uberrich husband, with terrifyingly hysterical results.
literary mystery
Little Gods is prep school noir, like A Separate Peace as if it were written by Alfred Hitchcock.
action adventure
A clandestine biowar attack on America reduces society to medieval chaos.
Approaching Christmas, a winter blizzard locks Chicago in snow. Among its residents, retired FBI poisons expert Tad Lindholm is a haunted man. Haunted by his past, haunted by his recently dead lover Yvette, haunted by the long shadows of too many empty booze bottles, haunted by depression, and tempted by an arsenal of deadly doses to end it all. At the same time, he is trapped by lingering suspicions that he alone synthesized the traceless toxins responsible for recent deaths. Numb with stubbornness, encircled by intersecting mysteries, Lindholm pursues the real killers among his enemies, only to discover an unimaginably personal betrayal.