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“Has Justice Been Served” – – – – Before we get to the technicalities of this te

by | Apr 27, 2022 | Philosophy

 

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“Has Justice Been Served”
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Before we get to the technicalities of this term’s paper assignment, some review of a handful of items is in order. Go back and review my first (1 of 2) set of Notes on Chapters 1 and 2 from my Elements of Knowledge, paying special attention to the subjects of deduction and induction. In the paper assignment, following, you will see that we’re dealing with a fictional criminal murder trial, one in which we are acting as defense counsel. Here’s the point: in criminal procedure, for the prosecution to win, or “prevail,” then in theory at least the prosecution must aim at deductive certainty. No doubts, no “if’s”; no probabilities. This is realized by having all twelve jurors vote “guilty.” No exceptions. 100%. If even one juror votes “not guilty” and will not change this vote, the prosecution will fail to prevail. And, by the way, “innocent” means you didn’t do it, but “not guilty”means the prosecution cannot prove that you did. And “proof,” in this instance, means 100% certainty.
And you can easily see why, especially in murder trials, we must have, for a guilty verdict, 100% certainty securely in place. Depending on which state you live in, the resulting verdict may deal in capital punishment or life imprisonment. Grim finalities.
But now, the defense counsel (in this case, us), will be perfectly happy in dealing with inductive probability. In fact, the function of any defense counsel, in a criminal proceeding, is to introduce doubt into the juror’s minds. If such doubt cannot be erased by the prosecution, the defense will prevail. So here is the place to contrast criminal procedure with “civil” procedure (lawsuits), thus: criminal procedure, for a guilty verdict, must deal in certainty. But to get a guilty verdict in a civil case, only a majority of the jury + one is needed.
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Now, take another look at the first set (1of 2) of my Notes over Chapters 3 and 4 from Elements of Knowledge, paying special attention to the section on Peirce’s “beans” illustrations of Deduction, Induction, and Abduction. Especially when it is pointed out that, in these illustrations, the content of each is exactly the same as the other two. The difference between them lies in the form or design or structure of each. What’s the point? Well, in criminal trials there is an aspect known as “discovery,” wherein, in theory at least, we are secure in thinking that prosecution and defense alike work from exactly the same evidence, or content. It is by the differences in their reasoning processes, deduction vs. induction, the forms by with which they shape or mold the evidence at hand, that they arrive at such different conclusions. One side, certainty; the other side, something less strict. Abduction, or guesswork, is certainly in play for both sides, particularly as they begin to form up their cases.
Lastly, now, before engaging the details of your paper, “Has Justice Been Served,” consider my second set (2 of 2) Notes over Chapters 3 & 4 from Elements of Knowledge. There you see a discussion of the so-called ad hominem fallacy: arguments against the person, regardless of the “message” the person carries or delivers. This is the central subject of your paper. For as you will see, prosecution and defense alike share the same damning evidence against our client, which leaves us, it seems as the defense counsel, but one option to attempt for a “not guity” verdict, that being to invoke a vicious ad hominem attack in an attempt to fatally discredit the character of the eyewitness put forward by the prosecution, who swears under oath that she saw our client commit the murder in question.
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Writing Assignment in Critical Thinking
Has Justice Been Served?
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In, at most, five pages of clearly written prose text (one side per sheet, only;
Garamond 12-pt. type, double spaced, preferred), please address the critical issues in the following fictional passage, and do so through the questions supplied following the passage itself. The material on this page, then, is the “subject” portion of the assignment. More formatting, Core Rubric and grading information on following page. In this assignment, you are asked, in the context of a capital murder trial to think like the Judge, then like an individual Ju ro r, and finally as a member of the Ju ry , a member of the general Pu b lic .
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Text: Here we are confronted with a capital murder trial, one in which prospects for
the Defendant do not look very promising. The Defendant, our client, is accused of shooting the deceased in the Mall parking lot one sunny afternoon, at very close range and in the head, with a .357 Magnum revolver. Most if not all the factual evidence seems clearly against our client, including the testimony of an alleged eye-witness to the murder, a Ms. Smith, by name. Among other maneuvers to counter such evidence overall, we intend to discredit Ms. Smith’s character by asking her, under oath, if it is or is not true that she is a prostitute and a dealer in illegal drugs. Our aim here is to play upon the egotistical conscience of a certain juror, a Mr. Jones, by name, hoping he will vote not guilty in this case because he fundamentally wishes to avoid the embarrassment of having to admit to his wife, his children, his business associates and his religious colleagues that he in practical effect voted, in this case, to execute our client based on the testimony of a morally corrupt and debased witness.
Think here as would a Judge, in such an instance. Questions (to be answered in continuous prose text): What kinds of seemingly damning factual evidence could the Prosecutor bring against our client? What are the advantages and the disadvantages of the Prosecution bringing forward the eye- witness, Ms. Smith? What makes bringing forward eye-witness testimony a risky maneuver?
(4/4) If the Prosecution is to prevail, is there any particular kind of reasoning that the Prosecution must use to organize and present all the damning factual evidence mentioned above? Can the evidence in play be cast in another kind of reasoning that the Defense could use, and in such a way as to dismiss or jeopardize the value of all or part(s) of this evidence? When Ms. Smith’s character is attacked, which fallacy of relevance is involved? What should
be the reaction of the Prosecution?
Formatting Information: typescript required (e.g., nothing written by hand); Garamond 12- pt. typescript required.
Core Rubric Information:
On the last page of your essay, at the left margin and in bold type, enter Criteria (personal and social responsibility).
Then, in no more space than your last page, discuss the personal and social responsibility issues in this trial as if you were a Juror in this trial. . Thus, given what you, personally, as a juror, know about the evidence involved, would you individually feel compelled to vote for conviction or acquittal? And at the larger level of social responsibility, as a member of the Jury/Public, and, again, using the information made available in this trial, should society at large approve of a conviction, leading certainly to capital punishment in this case, or allow an acquittal, certainly saving the accused’s life?
I will attach notes shortly as needed for reference. There are no requirements on sources but use his notes and book if needed or if you use them please cite.
** i do not like filler words, (however, therefore, ect. ) i will have to rewrite if used.

 

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