anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

what is a 'reasonable doubt'?

In a 1894 case from the Utah Territory, a judge while giving his instructions to the jury, explained the concept of 'reasonable doubt' thus:

"A reasonable doubt is not an unreasonable doubt."

Seriously? Couldn't have known that. It's like explaining what 'white' is: White is not black. Good is not bad. Love is not hate. What?

More hilariously, the defendant who was apparently convicted appealed to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, "insisting that the judge's language 'gives all the definition of reasonable doubt which a court can be required to give.'" (Larry Laudan, "The Unraveling of Reasonable Doubt" in Truth, Error and Criminal Law at 34)

Note, also, an oddly and somewhat inappropriately succinct summing up of the law on what constitutes reasonable doubt and beyond a reasonable doubt by my hilarious lecturer: "What is beyond reasonable doubt is a matter of doubt."

Law is so hilarious sometimes.


On another note, I am left without much of a reasonable doubt that I am fucking behind for both Evidence and Personal Prop. I AM DEAD. Beyond a reasonable doubt. Because it is unreasonable for me to doubt that I am not dead.

It doesn't help that the right side of my neck has mysteriously begun to ache.

I haven't shopped since post-Rational Social Choice paper. Which was October 1. I SERIOUSLY need to shop. BUT I HAVE NO TIME. Life is so miserable.

Tags: exams, hilarious people, law, law school, shopping

  • A Paradigm Shift

    I still cannot figure out how I spent 1.5 years feeling no attraction whatsoever to E, basically friend-zoning him, and out of nowhere, a burgeoning…

  • Bloody Men Drama

    I'm listening to the fireworks from the St Johns or Trinity May Ball from my room. I have showered and so I don't want to go out; otherwise, I might…

  • (no subject)

    My updating of this blog has been absolutely dire. Things have been going on. Well, not so much for the PhD; my progress is slow as usual, but at…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.