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#23387 - 03/20/01 08:12 AM Re: wrongeousness: Nemmine all that
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
And what does Wronskian mean?

It's a math thing. It is the determinant of a matrix made up of the 0th to (n-1)th derivatives of a set of functions f1(x), f2(x),...fn(x), arranged as the rows of the matrix (ie. row 1 has the functions, row 2 has the first derivatives, row 3 has the second derivatives, etc.)

#23388 - 03/20/01 09:04 AM Re: And yet, and yet...
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
Dear Shanks:

"Not guilty" and "innocent" are not the same - that's my point. "Innocent" means "he didn't do it." "Not guilty" means "it wasn't proved." To my knowledge, there is no "innocent" verdict available in the US.

The criminal justice system is concerned with adjudicating guilt (or not) for the purpose of imposing criminal sanctions. It does not address a person's reputation in the community, and does not concern itself with related civil matters.

A subsequent civil proceeding arising out of the same matter which resulted in a criminal trial does not pose a double jeopardy issue. Constitutional double jeopardy restrictions apply only to the government and its attempt to try or punish a defendant more than once for the same offense. What private parties do is not the concern of double jeopardy jurisprudence. (In fact, the constitution in general concerns itself only with the powers and limitations of the government; it does not regulate private conduct, but only protects it.)

Imagine that you entered into a partnership with another man for the purpose of developing a large real estate holding. The man convinced you to invest your life savings to buy the land and fund the beginning of construction, in part based upon a portfolio of prior developments he presented to you, all of which he assured you were highly profitable. Imagine that the man even presented you with supporting financial documentation of the prior developments to convince you to invest. Now imagine that the man - who never intended to build anything and who falsified every document and reference you saw and who intended to fleece you from the beginning - takes every penny of the investment and bolts to places unknown, leaving you with nothing but a land purchase now heavily mortgaged under your name by use of forgery.

Now let's imagine that the prosecutor issues criminal charges against the man, for fraud, embezzlement and forgery, and they find him and bring him before the court. Even assuming that the prosecutor can get a conviction (tough, since the man, using all your money, can afford Big Gun defense counsel), where does that leave you? Upon conviction, the man is subject to criminal sanctions, by way of imprisonment, a fine payable to the state, or probation. You are left with a big mortgage and no money. That's when you bring suit against him to reclaim all your assets. Do you not think it right that you can go after him for the return of your money? What if the defendant was acquitted of some or all of the charges in the criminal case? Maybe the prosecutor was incompetent, maybe the jury was stupid, but somehow, the jury was convinced that investment was legitimate and you lost your share of the money to an incompetent but not criminal partner who only took money owed to him for services rendered. Remember, the criminal trial burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, so it only takes a partial belief in the defense to defeat the charges. Should you now be precluded from showing your claim under the ordinary civil standards of a preponderance of the evidence? No. Acquittal in a criminal trial does not preclude civil suit.

BTW, under certain circumstances, the opposite can apply: an establishment of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt can establish the underlying facts for the purpose of a subsequent civil trial.

Scribbler: thank you for your comments. I like the "Beware of Greeks bearing basketballs" concept.

Now spill: where are you and for whom are you rooting?


#23389 - 03/20/01 09:29 AM Going under for the third time
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK

This is all getting too much for me. Let me try to elucidate my confusion.

Firstly, as I see it, there are two separate issues:

1. What the law says and does
2. What our morality says and does.

As for 1., I understand that in US law (as in most) the presumption of innocence applies. Therefore, if someone achieves a verdict of Not Guilty in court, by law that person is presumed innocent? Remember I am only talking about the legal issue here. In this case, of course, there would be no need for a jury verdict of 'innocent' - that is presumed, and can only be overturned by a jury verdict of Guilty.

Next, from the point of view, IMO, of morality, rather than the law, if there is a civil suit, as per your example of the guy who ran off with my mortgage, the two issues are quite different. If he did not fulfil a contract - I have the right to sue him in the civil courts, and they will base their judgement (at least in the UK) upon a reasonable interpretation of the contract, and an examination of both parties' actions in the matter of that contract. If, on the other hand, he committed criminal offences, he should be prosecuted under those and (I don't know if this applies under UK law, but by heck it should) if found guilty, part of the sentencing should simply include restitution to the damaged parties. An extra civil case to establish this only clogs up the courts. Basically, your example seems to me to conflate two different issues - a civil issue (which has to do with contract law), and a criminal issue which would/should be prosecuted in any case. If one can be hauled to the courts twice, on the same matter, then to my mind it is a form of double jeopardy. If OJ was hauled to the courts twice for the same matter - the killing of Nicole - except that in one case the opposing lawyers sought money instead of criminal sanctions, then it appears to me that this is 'wrong'. If OJ had violated some contract he had engaged in with Nicole, and that was in dispute in the civil courts, then fair enough. If, on the other hand, as far as the courts were concerned he had to be presumed innocent of her murder, then a civil case based upon compensation for her murder should never have reached the courts.

At least, that's the state my muddled thinking has left me in. But do you see why I'm still going "but - but...">


the sunshine warrior

#23390 - 03/20/01 10:09 AM Re: Going under for the third time
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
If OJ had violated some contract he had engaged in with Nicole, and that was in dispute in the civil courts, then fair enough.

Marriage is a contract. At least as I understand it.

Perhaps we'd have fewer diviorces if the contracting partners took notice of that before entering into "the marriage contract."

#23391 - 03/20/01 10:47 AM Re: Going under for the third time
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Marriage is a contract. At least as I understand it.

Mmmm...yes... But, in civil terms, what part of the contract had he violated that they were suing him for?

#23392 - 03/20/01 11:05 AM Re: And yet, and yet...
Scribbler Offline

Registered: 01/21/01
Posts: 86
Loc: Utopia, not in literal sense, ...
Dear Sparteye - 1. As we have noticed, Shanks is a very, very bright person who asks good Qs. The Guilty/Not Guilty concept is very difficult for lay persons (seeking to avoid sexist words), but you have done an excellent job of explaining. We'll get an honorary law degree for Shanks yet. Would it help him to explain that it is the function of (choose one or more) God, individual conscience, Religion and its functionaries,and, in a certain sense, the General Public (in its collective "mind") to determine "Innocence". Courts do not seek to address that issue. Criminal courts determine, using a particular set of rules, whether a defendant must pay a penalty to the STATE, the community at large. Defendant is charged w/ speeding, careless driving and DUI. The issue is simply Guilty (D receives the punishment) or Not Guilty (D does not receive the punishment.) There may be civil issues arising generally out of the same set of circumstances upon which the criminal action was based. In the example, D the allegedly speeding etc driver, crashes into P's car, damages car and injures P. P may seek recovery in a civil action. The civil courts have some different rules, often very similar to those of criminal courts, but still different. The issue here, is NOT whether D is Guilty/NotGuilty,(or Innocent vel non) but whether (pause for emphasis, this is the whole point) D is LIABLE to P. Civil courts determine LIABILITY, whether or not D must redress P. To get the concept, one must "render unto Caesar, what is Caesar's. etc." For simplicity, let's say that God determines Innocence, criminal courts determine whether an accused is Guilty or Not Guilty and civil courts determine liability, whether or nay D must redress P. The system works, most of the time.
2. "Greeks bearing basketballs" A more "Tobasco" translation had occurred to me, but I thought I would give wwh first shot at it. Dr. Bill?
3. March madness- No dog in this hunt- My Commodores have not been very competitive since I was in Law School some DECADES ago. I'll cheer for SEC. Go, Kentucky and veeeeeeeeery long shot, Rebels.

#207019 - 09/07/12 01:32 AM Re: Th'excluded middle [Re: paulb]
Cobbett Offline

Registered: 09/07/12
Posts: 1
It could be a sound problem. It might have worked if he had spelled it wrongteousness.

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