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Instructing jurors about bodylanguage

Re: Instructing jurors about bodylanguage

Postby shootist » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:38 pm

People react differently, often very differently, under stress if there is an incident of sufficient impact. I am reminded of a video I watched some time ago, made by Massad Ayoob, an American use of force instructor of some fame. He related an incident that was essentially a dispute between two neighbouring farmers which lead to one shooting the other in self defence following a prolonged and violent struggle during which the shooter expended all the ammunition in his revolver and had to then use it to beat his attacker on the head until he expired.

The farmer having been charged with murder, the prosecution made much of the man's subsequent phone call to the police, during which he referred several times to having bent the barrel of his favourite pistol during the encounter. They said that the man was a cold blooded killer who was more concerned about damage to his revolver than having just taken a life. A quite convincing argument you might think. IIRC, it was a noted psychologist explained that the man found it much easier to relate to a relatively unimportant matter such as a damaged revolver than the enormity of having just killed a man he knew and had socialised with.

The human mind works strangely at times of stress.
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Re: Instructing jurors about bodylanguage

Postby megaman » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:28 pm

shootist wrote: They said that the man was a cold blooded killer who was more concerned about damage to his revolver than having just taken a life. A quite convincing argument you might think.


Nope
I would think that as an absurd argument

You never know why someone else did any specific action.
The only thing (i can think of) which even comes close to an exception is if the outcome is inevitable and everyone knows it.
(everyone knows that if you push someone off a cliff a fall will occur dont they - so if someone pushes someone off a cliff you know he wanted him to fall)
even then there are problems
You would be assuming that the person is not the 1/1000000000 who genuinely does not know that a person will fall if there is nothing beneath them.
You are assuming the action was entirely voluntary.
You can only infer that he knew he would fall, this does not tell you why he pushed him.
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Re: Instructing jurors about bodylanguage

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:51 pm

It is a rule of law that a man can be inferred to intend the natural consequence of his actions. If a defendant pushes a man off a cliff, the natural consequence is that the victim will die. If the defendant had a different intention, it is for him to show that, in order to displace the presumption.

The prosecution does not need to show that the defendant intended to kill the victim beyond all doubt, but beyond reasonable doubt. The Crown needs to prove their case to a high standard, but that standard is not set so high that no prosecution can possibly succeed.
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Re: Instructing jurors about bodylanguage

Postby megaman » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:37 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:It is a rule of law that a man can be inferred to intend the natural consequence of his actions. If a defendant pushes a man off a cliff, the natural consequence is that the victim will die. If the defendant had a different intention, it is for him to show that, in order to displace the presumption.
.


This is very much what i said
Except i said the consequence has to be one that ANYONE would known about
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Re: Instructing jurors about bodylanguage

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:56 pm

No, that is not correct, as I said in the part of my post you don't quote. It is not necessary for the prosecution to demonstrate that absolutely anyone must have understood the consequences: that it is an impossible task which would make it impossible to convict anyone. You cite a one-in-a-billion chance of innocence: there are only 7 1/2 billion people alive on earth.

I repeat: the prosecution needs to show guilt beyond reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt.
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