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Do you accept all court decisions without question?

 
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 05:13 pm
My reference was to the volume of the decisions.
I was wondering if all the judges were thought to be stupid.

I personally respect most judges/arbitrators I have contact with.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 05:19 pm
Yes, I do think the amount of examination and re-examination means something. Then it becomes not about individual fallability -- which of course exists -- but whether the whole system is broken.

What evidence is there of that?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 05:26 pm
Quote, "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a criminal court standard." So what determines civil jury cases?
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 05:31 pm
I seem to recall learning that the U.S. has a government of laws, not men (pardon the sexist pronoun; it's an old saying).

That's why we have courts. What Congress did in trying to make some sort of special case of Terry Schiava betrays our system of gov't.

I'd sooner accept the decisions of a series of courts than I would the vote of Congress. Any day!
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 06:14 pm
Lash wrote:
My perception may have led me to see some of those comments in that vein .... I was askance.



No!?!?! Really? Ya think? Twisted Evil Mr. Green :wink:
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 06:25 pm
Lemme add here, in context of the discussion at hand, that I believe, given the law in place and the evidence presented,, no other outcome reasonably could have been expected. I feel the federal legislative action was ill-advised and poorly founded. On the other hand, I feel the underlyin' question is yet unresolved. In absence of properly recorded legal intstrument of intent, it comes down to hearsay. That bothers me a bunch. So does the fact Michael Schiavo had entered into an entirely separate extra-legal spousal relationship, complete with children. I feel his having done so constitutes, morally and ethically, though not legally, abandonment of his marital relationship with Terri, and invalidates any claim he might have had to any influence stemming from that abandoned marital relationship. My personal preference would be to err on the side of life. Doesn't matter what I prefer, though; the law isn't there. I'd like to see the law brought up to speed.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 11:22 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
Quote, "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a criminal court standard." So what determines civil jury cases?

"Preponderance of evidence."

The way I remember it being described in Civics is that a criminal case requires 99% certainty, civil cases require 51% of the evidence to support a decision.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 11:31 pm
DrewDad, Thank you. I took one business law class back in college (over 40 years ago), but didn't remember that.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 12:06 am
When it comes to morality and ethics - either this is defined by a law or not.

If it isn't - change that law.

If you notice this after 15 years - did you get other, different morals and ethics now?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 12:49 am
Walter, There has always existed differing opinions on "right to life" issues in this country. That's the reason why "Roe vs Wade" is being challenged by this administration by increasing the number by conservative federal judges.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 01:21 am
Ticomaya wrote:
Yes; This is the "dying declaration" exception to the Hearsay Rule. Possibly also admitted as an "admission against interest."

Sorry to get all technical here but this really drives me up a wall. There is no such thing as an "admission against interest" (despite repeated iterations of this mistake by generations of clueless judges). There are "admissions" and "statements against interest," but they're not the same thing. All admissions are, by definition, against interest, but they are statements by a party to an action. As such, admissions are not even exceptions to the hearsay rule, since they are not statements by an out-of-court witness.

Furthermore, when it is understood that admissions can only be statements made by parties to an action, it becomes clear why, in the vast majority of cases, a dying declaration cannot also be considered an admission (the only case where the two might merge is where a party makes a declaration in contemplation of death but does not die).
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 02:18 pm
Absolutely.

An ADMISSION by a party-opponent is NOT HEARSAY.

A STATEMENT (declaration) against interest are statements that are against the declarant’s pecuniary, proprietary, or penal interests.

As preconditions to the admissibility of a hearsay statement against penal interests, corroboration is necessary and the declarant's testimony must be unavailable.

Corroborating circumstances must clearly indicate the trustworthiness of the statement.

Why is corroboration necessary as a precondition to the admissibility of a statement against penal interest?

BECAUSE, the declarant is subject to criminal liability and this implicates the declarant's fundamental (constitutionally-protected) interest in his/her liberty.

Likewise, an individual has a fundamental (constitutionally-protected) interest in his/her LIFE. If an individual made an alleged oral declaration that they wanted life-saving medical treatment terminated and his/her testimony is unavailable, shouldn't the equal protection clause also require that the alleged oral declaration also be corroborated?

In Guardianship of Browning, 568 So. 2d. 4 (1990), the Florida Supreme Court held that under the Florida Constitution, a guardian, acting as a surrogate decisionmaker, may be permitted to make a decision to reject feeding through a tube for a patient who is not presently capable of making health care decisions and who has an incurable condition. This is so even if the patient is neither terminal nor in a "persistent vegetative state."

However, the guardian must base such a decision on "clear and convincing" evidence of what the patient wanted. In Browning, the Florida Supreme Court specifically recognized that reliance on oral statements does not have the same presumption of clear and convincing evidence as written declarations. It stated that "the evidence of the patient's oral declarations must be reliable."

How does a court determine whether a hearsay statement is reliable (trustworthy)? It does so by following the rules of evidence and the hearsay rule by refusing to admit an out-of-court statement unless the statement falls within an exception to the hearsay rule.

AND . . . when the admission of a hearsay statement affects the declarant's fundamental right to life . . . corroboration should be required. (Why should the law give more protection to someone facing criminal liability than to someone facing loss of life in the event of an erroneous admission of hearsay evidence? The equal protection clause ought to require corroboration.)
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pragmatic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 05:44 pm
Has someone noticed the poll results? 100% "no the courts are not always right." Unless this poll is rigged so that all yes votes becomes no...I can say that we all agree on something.

Where are you all from?
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Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 07:20 pm
Lash wrote:
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.
-----------------------
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.


Let me repeat:

Quote:
we ALL would probably agree that the courts are not ALWAYS right,


I think it's even more sad that you completely missed my answer. Rolling Eyes

Quote:
Item #1---I'm so damn tired of "disengenuous". That is the most tiresome word.


As it applies so often, my guess is the endless audacity of the Republican party is what's become so tiresome. Confused

Quote:
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.


Which is within the context of a monumental stack of evidence submitted by actual professional neurologists and doctors who have spent endless hours examining Terri and have diagnosed her condition based on scientific rational. If the experts were a few Christian neurologists who are relatively unknown in the medical community, a Senator who insists he can expertly diagnose a patient via video snippets, and Christian fundamentalist pundits, some of which are calling for the death of either the judge in the case or Terri's husband, well....

Which group would you lean more towards in regards to the overwhelming preponderance of evidence?

Case closed.
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Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2005 09:20 am
joefromchicago wrote:
Ticomaya wrote:
Yes; This is the "dying declaration" exception to the Hearsay Rule. Possibly also admitted as an "admission against interest."

Sorry to get all technical here but this really drives me up a wall. There is no such thing as an "admission against interest" (despite repeated iterations of this mistake by generations of clueless judges). There are "admissions" and "statements against interest," but they're not the same thing. All admissions are, by definition, against interest, but they are statements by a party to an action. As such, admissions are not even exceptions to the hearsay rule, since they are not statements by an out-of-court witness.


You are no doubt technically right about the use of the word "admissions." My evidence prof called them "admissions against interest" instead of the more accurate "statements" or "declarations against interest." Do you also get riled up when people refer to a "Restraining Order" as a "Temporary Restraining Order"?

In Kansas proceedings, the following are considered hearsay, but are admitted under the listed exceptions:

"Confessions" (previous statements by an accused relative to a criminal offense charged, if made while conscious and not under compulsion by threats or certain promises) are considered hearsay, and are excepted by K.S.A. 60-460(f).

"Admissions by parties" are considered hearsay and are excepted by K.S.A. 60-460(g)-(i).

"Declarations against interest" are considered hearsay and are excepted by K.S.A. 60-460(j). [Note: this is subject to the limitations of K.S.A. 60-460(f)]
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2005 09:28 am
I'm going to make a stab and say that the statements were admitted as testimony as to the state of mind of Terry regarding life support. But before you guys gun me down with those lawyer guns, remember <meak> I'm not a lawyer. </meak>
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2005 09:37 am
I'm not a lawyer either, nor do I play one one the internet, but it seems to me there is no real independent body of direct evidence pertinent either to Ms Schiavo's health or prior statements of intent re terminal care. What documentation there is appears derived primarily from what must be considered Mr Schiavo's camp. I find that a bit troublin'. Not damnin', by any means, but far from satisfyin'.

In the end, I doubt even an independent autopsy - somethin' not real likely to happen anyway - will resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all concerned. The issue goes far beyond its unfortunately-caught-up principals, and the issue isn't about to go away when, and regardless how, the Schiavo flap resolves itself.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2005 10:51 am
Ticomaya wrote:
You are no doubt technically right about the use of the word "admissions." My evidence prof called them "admissions against interest" instead of the more accurate "statements" or "declarations against interest." Do you also get riled up when people refer to a "Restraining Order" as a "Temporary Restraining Order"?

That does not disturb my equanimity as much. But then I rarely deal with TROs.

Ticomaya wrote:
In Kansas proceedings, the following are considered hearsay, but are admitted under the listed exceptions:

"Confessions" (previous statements by an accused relative to a criminal offense charged, if made while conscious and not under compulsion by threats or certain promises) are considered hearsay, and are excepted by K.S.A. 60-460(f).

"Admissions by parties" are considered hearsay and are excepted by K.S.A. 60-460(g)-(i).

"Declarations against interest" are considered hearsay and are excepted by K.S.A. 60-460(j). [Note: this is subject to the limitations of K.S.A. 60-460(f)]

Yet another reason not to practice law in Kansas.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Mar, 2005 06:19 am
Re: Do you accept all court decisions without question?
Lash wrote:
It was very revealing to see members who I imagined to be free-thinkers, declaring that the court's decision involving Shiavo should not be questioned.

As if a court is infallible?

I believe courts are fallible, but from observing the Schiavo thread, I'm not getting the impression that this is what supporters of the courts' decision are arguing. The arguments I usually seem to read (from the reasonable posters) are 1) We, sitting at home in front of our computers, are in no better position to assess the facts than the doctors and the lawyers in the Schiavo case were. 2) Legislatures can't mess around with court decisions only because they think they're wrong. 3) The federal government can't mess around with state governments just because it things the state is doing something wrong.

Even assuming that the Florida courts ended up deciding the Schiavo case wrongly, I am still willing to defend all three points. In particular, I think it is more important to defend principles 2) and 3) than to guarantee a just outcome in this single case.
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