Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The war over a mystery

154 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

  • nzlemming, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    My wife wonders if that was a Tibetan rabbit.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to nzlemming,

    Or perhaps a blind lawyer rabbit.... or a Uighur rabbit.... or a nail house rabbit....

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Or an artist rabbit...

    Fair point.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    If they think they can get away with the little things....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4194 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    It is very attractive to head towards a totally pragmatic definition of guilt but the subsequent legal system lacks any legitimacy.

    That's only the case if you think that the different types of guilt are, in essence, the same thing, but the system we are under the jurisdiction of allows that there are different types of guilt, thus leading to weird situations where you can be legally guilty of a crime (say, internet piracy) and yet have an ethical argument which says that you are not guilty in any moral sense. You can also be found not guilty in a legal sense for something you did actually do (because, say, the Crown failed to prove you did it beyond reasonable doubt). You can say "It lacks legitimacy" to your heart's content, but we're dealing here with a legal, stipulative definition of guilt; it's legitimate because that is how the government and the judiciary of the day define it.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Except in fact the laws around copyright are widely perceived as illegitimate and in many ways are not law at all, in the sense that they don't have the classic lawlike attributes of (a) being followed or (b) being enforced.

    And when people who commit crimes escape punishment, that also undermines the legitimacy of the judicial system, and this is an accepted factor in thinking around judicial systems.

    Legitimacy in law is super important, and your proposal just doesn't have an explanation for what legitimacy is other than a circular `what the courts do', which is rather unsatisfying.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Hunter,

    HORansome might appreciate some facts about the Watson case. Quoting from Trial By Trickery at page 131:

    In summary, including Guy Wallace and his passengers Morresey and Dyer, at least eight witnesses are known to have reported seeing the ketch, or a boat of similar description, off Furneaux on New Year’s Eve. …

    The difference between Blade and the yacht described by the witnesses was that she was half the size, had freeboard of eighteen inches against freeboard of four feet, no blue stripe, no portholes in the hull, no unusual old-fashioned design or unusually shaped stern, was built in steel and not timber, had no ropes festooned around the stern but instead a very conspicuous canvas windshield ‘dodger’, a windvane attached above it, and that it had one mast instead of two….

    …After pondering these clues, the Crown concluded that Wallace, Morresey and Dyer had been mistaken about the yacht Ben and Olivia had boarded in terms of its length, height, freeboard, colour, shape, design, rigging, masts, construction material, and visual condition in the case of the ropes around the stern. As far as the Crown was concerned they had been mistaken about everything it was possible to be mistaken about except the fact that it was a boat. …

    …The yacht Wallace and Hayden Morresey and Sarah Dyer thought they had seen from a distance of ten or twelve inches did not in fact exist in the estimation of the prosecutors…”

    Some might consider that the descriptions in fact tend to exclude Watson and his Blade, elsewhere described as kneehigh from the water taxi as against ketch’s chesthigh, according to the testimony of all three eyewitnesses who saw the missing pair board it.

    I presume HORansome disagrees. Instead he prefers the evidence of scratches on a hatch cover which could not have been made when the cover was closed, indicating that Olivia thought scratching the hatch cover was a better course of action than climbing out through the hatch, and of DNA from two long blonde hairs found in March in a bag of short dark hairs where it it had not been found when a scientist searched the same bag specifically for long blond hairs in January.
    Then there’s the ‘scrupulously cleaned boat’ that was only scrupulously cleaned in the Crown opening speech but wasn’t scrupulously cleaned at all in the testimony actually given in court by the Crown’s own expert witness – the policeman who actually examined the boat.

    Does HORansome also believe in fairies and Santa Claus or does he just not know anything about the Watson case?
    Keith Hunter

    Auckland • Since Apr 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Keith Hunter,

    Oh, I know things about the Watson case. I just don't agree with your interpretation of the evidence (i.e. I don't think the particular candidate explanatory hypothesis you infer from the body of evidence as a whole is the best explanation of the event in question). That doesn't mean I'm committed to the Crown case but I'm not convinced by the argument you present in "Trial by Trickery."

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    in many ways are not law at all, in the sense that they don't have the classic lawlike attributes of (a) being followed or (b) being enforced.

    Issues to do with the legitimacy of laws is a separate issue from the legitimacy of a judicial system and the verdicts its renders; you can accept that some set of laws are unjust but still accept that if someone is convicted of them, they are guilty (in the legal sense).

    Legitimacy in law is super important, and your proposal just doesn't have an explanation for what legitimacy is other than a circular `what the courts do', which is rather unsatisfying.

    Given that my construal is that of the status quo and you haven't come up with a counter proposal, what is the definition you think we should be operating under?

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I do not propose to explain why or how laws are legitimate. If I could do that, I’d be the Vinerian Professor. All I am saying is that if you can only define guilt in a legal sense, you haven’t done any real work.

    Also, most people do in fact want legal guilt to relate to actual guilt, this is pretty obviously true, and again, it is fun to play Scalia and split hairs over legal guilt and innocence, but in fact, the bad man theory of law is not very satisfying, and is not very much in favour with anyone.

    (In fact you can’t distinguish the legitimacy of laws and legitimacy of their enforcement because the law is what is enforced. This is especially important if you want to use pragmatic ideas of law because in that sense it really very much isn’t that case that it is against the law to download music, because for the bad man, there is no material consequence. )

    In general you are assuming the result you want — so it is possible to accept that some laws are unjust but that you can be guilty of breaking them? But I don’t agree! I think you can say that unjust laws are not laws. And unjust verdicts are, arguably, not verdicts!

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Hunter, in reply to HORansome,

    I have difficulty with HORansome's "I don't think the particular candidate explanatory hypothesis you infer from the body of evidence as a whole is the best explanation of the event in question'". Does mean he doesn't like my example? Can he please consider the example as a question. Does he think the passage I quoted suggests Watson's boat Blade was or was not the boat the missing pair were last seen to board? An answer that I can understand rather than circumlocuted gibberish would be welcome. 'Yes' or 'no' would do quite nicely.
    However if he would prefer another example I have many. A whole bookful.
    Keith Hunter

    Auckland • Since Apr 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I think you can say that unjust laws are not laws. And unjust verdicts are, arguably, not verdicts!

    Well, good luck finding a society, whose rule of law agrees with your definitions, to live in , then.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Keith Hunter,

    I meant the argument in your book, Keith.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Hunter, in reply to HORansome,

    The argument in my book? Which one? It is a book of arguments, perhaps hundreds. For the present it would be good if you addressed the one quoted earlier. Come on HORansome. Yes or No? One simple answer and then you can try me on a question of your own, because you 'know things about the Watson case'.
    We could even put aside the arguments and just discuss the facts.
    Yes or no?

    Auckland • Since Apr 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Keith Hunter,

    An answer that I can understand rather than circumlocuted gibberish would be welcome

    Bwahaha! the irony, it burns!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I reckon HORansome and Keith, that your arguments can be seen as coming from completely different angles. Keith you believe and I do too . Definitely from the angle of not beyond reasonable doubt, plus also just because the guy doesn’t scare me and one guy Watson’s size is not going to overcome 2 people, with confidence. Plus the case stinks.
    HORansome is checking out the case study with a view to argue both sides and can see that it is arguable but it is from both sides eh, and Horansome will do that . It’s what he does.
    Anyway, it is beyond reasonable doubt.Watson should get to walk.
    Coat getting {:))

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5690 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    There is such a thing as "Accepted Truth"
    If that Truth is accepted by those with power then that is "The Truth."
    That History is written by winners is an axiom that applies to societies that value justice.
    It goes beyond the individual effort and reward and toward a sociatle symbiosis wherein the collective consciousness acts, outside the understanding of any individual, to encompass the realm of justice that is for "The Greater Good" thus rendering the concept of freedom mearly an addendum to the nature of life itself.
    init?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4441 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Well, good luck finding a society, whose rule of law agrees with your definitions, to live in , then.

    Really? The argument that some laws are not law because they are unjust is pretty safe. It has, after all, the backing of Nuremberg.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Francis,

    We could even put aside the arguments and just discuss the facts.

    Well, Keith, your book does discuss the facts, at length. And you've already mentioned that several people who are au fait with boats said that Ben and Olivia were dropped off at a ketch. Then there were those who saw a man acting inappropriately towards women. He was never identified but clearly bore no resemblance to Watson. These and many other facts about the case should give us cause for concern. Of course, some people hold the belief that the police and justice system are never wrong.

    Wairarapa • Since Apr 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    cop this…
    The great cycle continues – now the Police are moving to centralise their efforts, by closing suburban stations to the public – (did they use the same consultants that Housing New Zealand employed I wonder?)
    As in the past I’m sure in about ten years they’ll get this inspiration to engage with the public again and reopen them for access – or will they just get watch towers and checkpoints?

    "For the public there is no noticeable change. They will just speak to a police officer over the phone rather than in person, or do it online. It is really getting rid of the paper trail."

    Police don't need no steenkin' paper trail!
    sigh….

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4194 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Police don’t need no steenkin’ paper trail!
    sigh….

    Targets

    [Reducing the number of cases resolved in court by 19 per cent – whereby lower end crimes could be dealt with by pre-charge warnings or the community justice panel.

    What is a Community Justice Panel ? And is a pre-charge warning , a fine?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5690 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The great cycle continues – now the Police are moving to centralise their efforts, by closing suburban stations to the public –

    When I was in the UK a few years back I had occasion to call the police as I had lost my wallet and as you all know, that can be a real bastard when abroad. Anyhoo, I looked in the phone book and found the number of the local police station and the phone was answered almost immediately by the desk Sargent, a chatty woman who made me feel at ease and took my details without fuss or threat. Contrast that with the situation we have here, in a much smaller population (which in cases such as this is surely an advantage?). Here you would be diverted to a call centre in god knows where and dealt with as an inconvenience , the case of Irene Asher springs to mind,

    Her father, Mike, said they felt let down by police, who failed Asher by responding to her 111 call by sending a taxi.

    and that was a 111 call, you try phoning an actual police station.
    All this leads to the police removing themselves even further from the community, the mere idea of shutting the public out of police stations is shear stupidity.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4441 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    ...shear stupidity

    the result of cuts?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4194 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Without the shears it is just stupidity.
    Just another topping wheeze from this bunch of Cu ts.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Keith Hunter,

    I have difficulty with HORansome’s “I don’t think the particular candidate explanatory hypothesis you infer from the body of evidence as a whole is the best explanation of the event in question’”.

    Me too, to be honest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.