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Strictly Speaking

Doubt(beyond a reasonable)

DOUBT (beyond a reasonable)

A century ago, most people believed in a creator, or God, beyond a reasonable doubt. But this conviction wasn’t actually reached by reason; it was an article of faith. If an argument for a creator existed, it was always presented backwards, conclusion first. Like this. The universe was created, therefore there must be a creator.

Currently, the view of reality has expanded to put the entire previously observed universe (a century ago believed to be limited to our Milky Way), at only four percent of our cosmic cocoon. Most of the rest of the universe is dark energy, supported indirectly by several strings of evidence, and dark matter, established by astronomer Vera Rubin as the glue essential to holding galaxies together. The traditional superstition of God has been displaced by the experimental detection of the Higgs Boson, or God particle, from which all else descends.

The evidence and theories debated by modern physics challenge the notion that any permanently valid conclusion can be reached by consideration of evidence, because the hermeneutic framework always affects the way that evidence is interpreted, and ushered toward one conclusion or another. Facts are only facts. They can be enlisted and marched in any army of argument according to the preferences and cleverness of the claimant.

A conclusion that any jury reaches beyond a reasonable doubt is impossible, because the very process of reasoning creates doubt, especially if made with the awareness that to the prosecution a trial is merely a game to advance careers and political ambitions, and that the police will counterfeit or conceal evidence owing to the conviction that they have got the right doer, and that the trial is merely a formality.

The inescapable fact is that with so many convictions prejudiced by the accused’s color, or relation to the victim, or simple pure suspicion that scuttles any true, extensive investigation, then if rigorously applied, the standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt will always exist unless the accused is linked to the victim by fairly gathered, vigilantly protected, untampered with evidence. Unluckily, we are a long way from reaching a collection of skeptics in a deliberating jury. The community always wants to feel safer, the jurors always seek “justice” or “the right thing for the family.” Unfortunately, they do not understand that if it were they, rather than the accused, being tried on so flimsy a case, they would scream to the heavens for acquittal. Unluckily, when the jury door shuts, the heavens are often left standing silently outside.

Off the record, most experienced attorneys will inform you that police departments never conduct a true investigation, one that seeks the perpetrator “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Most often they drag in the usual suspects, conjure an imagined motive, invoke the fear and suspicion of the jurors and attempt to make a case that may seems likely, but generates ample doubt. Often cops go headhunting, wanting a big scalp to hang on their belts. A classic case of this would be the Chandra Levy murder, where the District of Columbia Police aimed straight at her boss, sometime lover and Congressman, Gary Condit. The accusation had all the hallmarks of a badly written National Enquirer headline and collapsed for lack of evidence. While pursuing their instincts, no other line of investigation or suspect was pursued. This is typical, and raises – beyond a reasonable doubt – serious questions about how our judicial system operates.  Read More 
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