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Go Back One | Jump Ahead One

Re: The SF plane crash -- "The NTSB is waiting for translators to be available before speaking with the pilots of the crashed plane because we do not want to rush to judgment."

Really? I thought maybe it was because they actually wanted to know what the pilots were saying. Or you know, be able to ask them questions about what happened. Who would have thought that in order to communicate you need to be able to have someone that speaks both languages? This just goes into the whole "we have nothing to report but yet we keep talking because we don't want dead air" phenomena of 24/7 news reporting. Which goes hand-in-hand with the "I should know everything, right away!" stupidity of most 24/7 news watchers. Take time to figure out what really happened? Gather facts and come to informed decisions? Bah! Who needs that? Just blather on until the next tragedy pushes this one out of the spotlight.

Re: the George Zimmerman trial -- The prosecution has a very high standard of proof to meet in this trial."

THIS trial? It's the same standard that is in every criminal trial! The "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" standard is the bench-mark of the American legal system and places the burden of proof much higher in criminal cases than in civil ones. It was the standard of evidence that was used in the trial that I sat jury on. It was a standard that I took very seriously. I spent a great deal of time thinking about "reasonable doubt" and how it applied to the case I was listening too. It was only once that it was firmly established that the injuries could not have possibly happened incidentally or accidentally that the jury to agreed on a verdict.

Beyond a reasonable doubt is a cornerstone of our judicial system -- and it places a hell of a burden on the jurors to uphold that standard. Yes, there are times when that standard is ignored or when juror prejudices supersede that directive. But just because occasionally the jurors muck it up, doesn't mean that the standard of proof is wrong. Yes, the prosecution has a very high bar to hit, and quite frankly I have no idea why they choose to charge Zimmerman with Second Degree Murder (requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt of acting with a "depraved mind") rather than Manslaughter (requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt of acting with "culpable negligence" and "without lawful justification.")

With the Stand-your-ground law, I think that Manslaughter would have been a hard enough case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Second degree murder? That is a very tough thing to prove. But that has nothing to do with the standard of proof and everything to do with the charge the prosecution choose.

Also Re: the George Zimmerman Trial -- "Now the defense has to prove self-defense."

Ah, no. Let me say that again: No. This is a criminal trial. The defense has to prove nothing. Once again -- in a criminal trial it is all on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. All the defense has to do it provide enough doubt to negate the prosecutions assertion that Zimmerman is guilty of Second Degree Murder. That's it. The trial isn't to determine if Zimmerman killed Martin. He did. The trial being held to determine if he did so with a "depraved mind" and it's entirely up to the prosecution to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt. All the defense has to do is introduce that reasonable doubt.

Re: Egypt -- "It's hard to believe that this happened so soon after the promise of the Arab Spring last year."

No, it's not. A year ago in a fit of individual power the populace of Egypt rose up and deposed a leader who had ignored their voices, implemented unfair and unwanted laws and helped trashed their economy. They voted in someone who promised that he would fix everything and make Egypt a prosperous country once again.

Only, he didn't. He ignored their voices, implemented unfair and unwanted laws and continued policies that kept their economy down. So they did the same thing they did a year ago.

Why is this a surprise? The problem Morsi had is that he didn't have the military on his side. See, most governments that are created by revolution and rebellion end up with the support of the military. That way, if those pesky citizens are unhappy with the progress, you can just assert military power and insist that it will all be better, eventually. And, with the military on the side of the government, the citizens would have to choose to wait or die. Or both.

Now, I'm thinking that Egypt's military is on it's own side, which happens to match the citizen's at this time. It's a kind of an "enemy of my enemy" situation. Which is better? I have no idea. As a woman I'm never in favor of Sharia Law - or any religious based-law that is set and administrated by men, for that matter. But, hey, Egyptian military has proven in the past to be randomly violent and nasty, too. So I have no real basis to say which is better.

I do, however, have enough knowledge of the situation to know what's happening really isn't that surprising.

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