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Do you accept all court decisions without question?

 
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:27 pm
Another--

Can anyone make the case to admit Shiavo's he said/she said in one of these. I see a couple where the argument could be made--but they could justas easily be stricken down, IMO.

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Hearsay Rule Law and Legal Definition
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The hearsay rule is a rule of evidence which prohibits admitting testimony or documents into evidence when the statements contained therein are offered to prove their truth and the maker of the statements is not able to testify about it in court. Hearsay is "second-hand" information. Because the person who supposedly knew the facts is not in court to give testimony, the trier of fact cannot judge the demeanor and credibility of the alleged first-hand witness, and the other party's lawyer cannot cross-examine him or her. Therefore, there is a constitutional due process danger that it deprives the other side of an opportunity to confront and cross-examine the "real" witness who originally saw or heard something.
However, there are numerous exceptions to the hearsay rule. Exceptions include:

a) a statement by the opposing party in the lawsuit which is inconsistent with what he/she has said in court
b) business entries made in the regular course of business, when a qualified witness can identify the records and tell how they were kept
c) official government records which can be shown to be properly kept
d) a writing about an event made close to the time it occurred, which may be used during trial to refresh a witness's memory about the event
e) a "learned treatise" (historical works, scientific books, published art works, maps and charts)
f) judgments in other cases
g) a spontaneous excited or startled utterance
h) contemporaneous statement which explains the meaning of conduct if the conduct was ambiguous
i) a statement which explains a person's state of mind at the time of an event
j) a statement which explains a person's future intentions
k) prior testimony under oath
l) a declaration by the opposing party in the lawsuit which was contrary to his/her best interest if the party is not available at trial
m) a dying declaration by a person believing he/she is dying
n) a statement made about one's mental set, feeling, pain or health, if the person is not available-most often applied if the declarant is dead
o) a statement about one's own will
p) other exceptions based on a judge's discretion that the hearsay testimony has surrounding circumstances indicating that it must be reliable.

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Was it "p"?
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:27 pm
Asherman wrote:
A witness who testifies to the content of a conversation where they were a participant is not generally regarded as hearsay, though the conversation reported is not presumptive evidence that statements made in the conversation were factual, or true. In effect a witness is testifying only to the words, and not the truth or falisity of them. There are also safe guards intended to insure that the conversation testified to is accurate and did take place as described.


The situation you've described is hearsay if the sole purpose for stating the words of the other participant to the conversation is to prove the truth of what was stated. Thus, if Witness testifies that Stranger said, "Defendant ran a red light," and the purpose for testifying is to prove that, in fact, Defendant ran the red light, it would be hearsay, and probably excluded unless an exception to the Hearsay Rule applies. If the purpose is not to prove that Defendant ran the red light, but merely to prove that Victim said those words, then it's not hearsay.

Asherman wrote:
True hearsay is when a witness tries to testify to second-hand knowledge of a conversation. "Mrs. Jones told me that Mr. Doe admitted....". That sort of testimony is excluded.


This circumstance is hearsay, but it is hearsay within hearsay.

Asherman wrote:
A notable exception is the dying statement. In that case, a person on their death bed (or believing that they were on their death bed) may make statements that can later be introduced in court by the person(s) overhearing the statements. For instance, a badly wounded robbery suspect believing they are about to die mutters to the attending physician that he and James Doe murdered a guy named Joe Schmoe in '96. The bandit dies and Jimmy Doe is charged with the murder of Mr. Schmoe, whose homicide had previously remained unsolved. The dead bandit's comments would be treated as a dying declaration, and would be a center piece to the prosecution's case against Mr. Doe. Of course, other physical and circumstantial evidence would be needed for conviction.


Yes; This is the "dying declaration" exception to the Hearsay Rule. Possibly also admitted as an "admission against interest."
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:34 pm
This has been a painful and polarizing time for many and I feel like we need a definitive answer to this and other questions regarding the Schiavo case to achieve comfort and closure.

Therefore I am going to spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express tonight and tomorrow I should be able to answer all questions and put everyone's mind at ease. No donations accepted, it's on me.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:38 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
Whether or not I understand the legal definition of hearsay and whether or not the rules of admissibility apply in a civil case, the evidence in question was obviously allowed from both sides and so probably isn't "hearsay".


No, it appears to be hearsay. It is hearsay evidence that was admitted, although I don't know the justification for the admission.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:39 pm
Ticomaya wrote:
FreeDuck wrote:
Whether or not I understand the legal definition of hearsay and whether or not the rules of admissibility apply in a civil case, the evidence in question was obviously allowed from both sides and so probably isn't "hearsay".


No, it appears to be hearsay. It is hearsay evidence that was admitted, although I don't know the justification for the admission.


Crikey! Take it up with Debra, will you? I think you knew what I meant.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:51 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
Ticomaya wrote:
FreeDuck wrote:
Whether or not I understand the legal definition of hearsay and whether or not the rules of admissibility apply in a civil case, the evidence in question was obviously allowed from both sides and so probably isn't "hearsay".


No, it appears to be hearsay. It is hearsay evidence that was admitted, although I don't know the justification for the admission.


Crikey! Take it up with Debra, will you? I think you knew what I meant.


Actually, I thought you meant that it isn't hearsay. I'm simply saying it is. I'm also saying that just because it's hearsay does not mean it is automatically excluded. If it's hearsay, there must be an exception found to the general rule of exclusion in order for it to have been admitted.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:52 pm
Yeah, I'm not a lawyer Tico so forgive my inexactness. What I meant to say was that it was admissible and not excluded as hearsay.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:54 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
Yeah, I'm not a lawyer Tico so forgive my inexactness. What I meant to say was that it was admissible and not excluded as hearsay.


:wink:

Yes ... rightly or wrongly, it was admitted.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 02:37 pm
Do I accept all court decisions without question?
No.

However, when

Quote:
Mrs Schiavo's case has been the subject of more than ten court decisions in seven years, all of which have backed her husband Michael's wish to let her die. Nearly 20 Florida state judges have ruled in favour of Mr Schiavo, and the US Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to hear the case.


the volume of decisions on one case runs like this, I tend to think that there must be something to the correctness of the original decision.


ack forgot the link

link
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 02:40 pm
Courts and our justice system is operated by man. It will have weaknesses, but it's the best we have to provide a legal system for the masses. Nothing is perfect; we must learn to accept that fact.
0 Replies
 
Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 03:41 pm
Lash wrote:
Um...Your Honor, that **** is just HEARSAY!!!!


When is it NOT heresay, Lash?
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 03:57 pm
I'd have to consult that list of definitions.

But, common sense says it's not hearsay when there is proof.

A document. Corroberating (sp) testimony from one or more people, who don't have a vested interest in the outcome...
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 04:01 pm
Anyway--a grateful thank you to all comers. I think we had a hotly contested disagreement, but no one became too personal....(if I read right).

Quite cool.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 04:05 pm
If everybody lies in court, then we do have a big problem don't we? All the jury can do is go by what is presented during the trial, and it must be "beyond a reasonable doubt."
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 04:08 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
If everybody lies in court, then we do have a big problem don't we? All the jury can do is go by what is presented during the trial, and it must be "beyond a reasonable doubt."


"Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a criminal court standard.

People do lie under oath. Remember Clinton? Remember the message he sent to the youth that it must be okay to lie under oath ... after all ... the President does.

It is the function of the trier of fact (whether judge or jury) to weigh the evidence admitted at trial and decide the truth.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 04:30 pm
Lash wrote:
I'd have to consult that list of definitions.

But, common sense says it's not hearsay when there is proof.

A document. Corroberating (sp) testimony from one or more people, who don't have a vested interest in the outcome...

I'm pretty sure that the courts accept testimony of folks that do have a vested interest in the outcome.
0 Replies
 
Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 04:31 pm
And your poll question is awfully disengenuous, Lash, as we ALL would probably agree that the courts are not ALWAYS right, but we will all have a differing opinion on why that is. Which is why I can't answer the question, as you'll only use the results to bolster your argument.

As in this case, most Americans agree that the courts have jurisdiction over this, and that they did the right thing. This thing went to the Supreme Court not once, not twice, not three times, but FIVE times before their terse, one sentence reply was delivered in judicial absolution.

The element of doubt has been brought up largely by religious zealots and neurologists who CLAIM to know more than the doctors who have been examining Terri Shiavo for years.

But many religious conservatives refuse to let up. And the purely political actions by the Republican controlled Congress and both Bushes has become a direct attack on American federalism. It's no wonder that so many Americans disagree with the minority on this one. Especially when they get to hear quotes from these same Republicans years ago who were saying quite the opposite about government interference in private matters.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 04:43 pm
Item #1---I'm so damn tired of "disengenuous". That is the most tiresome word.

Item #2---The reason I asked that question in that way is because on another thread, several people were saying the court's decision should be accepted without question.

I think that's bullshit.
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It is also SAD!!! that you don't want to answer the question honestly because you are concerned it may bolster my argument.

Come on! Be brave! Just tell the truth. It won't hurt.

It won't negate your position. It actually may enhance it, and make it more interesting. Everything doesn't have to be black and white.
We don't all have to assume our usual positions.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 04:58 pm
Um...

I'm not sure I read the other thread the same way as you did, Lash.

Do you care to link or quote the folks who said it should be accepted without question?

Admittedly, things got a little heated at times. I heard people say something along the lines of "the case is decided, deal with it." But that's standard fare on the board, is it not? Did we not hear the same words uttered after the November election?

I'm sure you've been frustrated when someone has brought the same argument to bear numerous times... or when someone posts to a long thread and brings up issues that were dealt with 10 pages back... or taken your words out of context to support a position contrary to your own.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 05:11 pm
You may be right, DD. My perception may have led me to see some of those comments in thatvein.

I think when ehBeth said-- Why do Americnas have such distrust of their judges and hold them in such low esteem--or such. I was really surprised to see that. They're people, too, IMO, so I don't give them any more credence than I do anyone else.

So, then, I guess that slanted my take on some posts after hers.

Thanks for pointing it out. I was askance.
0 Replies
 
 

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