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Bruce Banner

It's Better That 10 Guilty Men Go Free Than One Innocent Man Be Wrongly Convicted

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Yes - didnt even have to think about it for 5 seconds.

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Does it change if you said 1 in a million murderers though?

Exactly what I was thinking (or even 1000).

I'd absolutely agree with the general principle though. Problem is, especially at the police level it's been turned in to a results driven business. 1 or a million convictions for rape for example (used purely because it's certainly one area of the justice system when it seems results are wanted) doesn't matter to me, it's about how many are worth while.

My limited experience with the justice system seemed to show that it is about getting a result (conviction) rather than trying to present a case and a true version of events. What I mean by that is evidence collected by the police and presented in such a way to only represent the prosecution.

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Does it change if you said 1 in a million murderers though?

Hmmmm, devil's advocate inserting the thin end of the wedge :lol:.

If there's no evidence for a safe conviction, then no, the same principle should surely apply.

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The moral standpoint would say 'yes' but a practical standpoint would say 'no' because a number must exist whereby the entire non murdering population would be wiped out. So to hold onto your view you must be prepared for everyone to die. But then that becomes a belief not worth having because there would be no one left to hold it. The question must then become "what number are we willing to accept?"

To continue to hold onto the moral standpoint ignoring the practicalities is to believe in equality for all and peace for mankind when we know they cannot exist from a practical standpoint.

In reality, though, the principle worked well for many years until NuLabour, and their successors, decided otherwise.

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In reality, though, the principle worked well for many years until NuLabour, and their successors, decided otherwise.

"Beyond reasonable doubt" means some degree of acceptance of accidentally punishing the innocent (although not the one in ten of the thread title). It would be "beyond any doubt whatsoever, 100% unarguable proof" if you're dead set against ever convicting one wrong man.

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"Beyond reasonable doubt" means some degree of acceptance of accidentally punishing the innocent (although not the one in ten of the thread title). It would be "beyond any doubt whatsoever, 100% unarguable proof" if you're dead set against ever convicting one wrong man.

"Beyond reasonable doubt" has always been the measure. In contrast, NuLabour wanted to use psychiatric analysis to identify and prevent potential offenders from committing crimes.

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"Beyond reasonable doubt" has always been the measure. In contrast, NuLabour wanted to use psychiatric analysis to identify and prevent potential offenders from committing crimes.

Really? Wowzers. I don't remember that.

What a crazy bunch of neo-communists they were. I do remember the ZanuLabour thing being a highly appropriate term of derision.

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"Beyond all reasonable doubt."

There's a degree of "he's a *******, good job he's locked up whether he was guilty or not" in my opinion of life, but that would mean the real guilty party has gone free and in any case it's too potentially dangerous a view to endorse, so I agree with the premise of the thread.

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We are a fair bunch. Even the "guilty" that get let off, due to lack of evidence will be under observation, and probably get done for something else.

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We are a fair bunch.

I'm not.

The justice system is vastly imperfect and huge amounts of guilty people get let off or given a slap on the wrist.

Ten guilty people being locked up vastly benefits society more than it is damaged by one innocent person being locked up. And you never really know guilt or innocence anyway; this isn't Petrocelli.

It's a numbers game. We're not in sixth form now all nodding sagely at the English teacher.

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I agree, sort of. There is a number. But for me it ain't 10. To have confidence in the system, it has to be the way it is. Seemingly beyond doubt but recognising errors and miscarriages of justice may be made. And make sure an estimate of miscarriages is kept secret/deemed unknowable.

So the question is a bit misleading because we never really get the chance to select a burden of proof that relates to a number of miscarriages of justice.

The pretence and the confidence in the system is paramount to the people and the legals who operate the system.

Hence my sixth forum reference; the original question is a nonsense and on a par with a sixth form essay title. You don't have that information in the first place.

I know you're just quoting it Bruce.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackstone%27s_formulation

In criminal law, Blackstone's formulation (also known as Blackstone's ratio or the Blackstone ratio) is the principle that "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer", as expressed by the English jurist William Blackstone in his seminal work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s.

Historically, the details of the ratio have varied, but the message that government and the courts must err on the side of innocence has remained constant.

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Is there any figures - hard I know - on whether the current system is more likely to release guilty people or jail the innocent?

If we knew the bias then it could be tweaked somehow.

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Yes - didnt even have to think about it for 5 seconds.

Agree.......very many every day commit crime and are free to go free to do it again, they are not caught (for now)....nothing new.

...but to punish the innocent under our rule of law that millions value and respect would be seen as unacceptable.

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Is there any figures - hard I know - on whether the current system is more likely to release guilty people or jail the innocent?

If we knew the bias then it could be tweaked somehow.

I certainly hope that it is more likely to release guilty people, and by at least an order of magnitude.

It's not a numbers game though. If you relax the burden of proof, more innocent people will be unjustly punished and for each innocent person convicted a guilty person gets away with it and continues their life of crime with renewed vigour, confident that they can get away with it.

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I've been called three times, the experience will destroy your faith in the justice system.

Will it? :(

I'm sort of excited about it but I'm sure once I've been on the tram once at the crack of very early then that will wear off.

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I certainly hope that it is more likely to release guilty people, and by at least an order of magnitude.

It's not a numbers game though. If you relax the burden of proof, more innocent people will be unjustly punished and for each innocent person convicted a guilty person gets away with it and continues their life of crime with renewed vigour, confident that they can get away with it.

But thats the problem.

The legal process happens and then thats that. No checks afterwards.

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I've been called three times, the experience will destroy your faith in the justice system.

I was called once but then got a phone call the week before saying that I wasn't needed after all. Thank goodness really, I have a very strong dislike of the whole concept (that the state can order you to drop what you're doing with your life and to get on and do what they tell you to, possibly leaving you quite out of pocket). I've not much faith in the ability of a dozen random people to rationally examine potentially complex evidence and make serious decisions either.

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But thats the problem.

The legal process happens and then thats that. No checks afterwards.

I've problems with that too. After a trial it's "He is innocent" or "he is guilty", treated as if the trial has given certainty, and that it must not be questioned.

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