Two Old Child Sex Abuse Convictions, One Reversed, One Not

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Wudge, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thoughtful reading (for a slow weekend) on past trials that suffered from the hysteria surrounding child sexual abuse cases.

    Case 1) Kelly Michaels, (Wee Care sex abuse case) was convicted on 115 counts and imprisoned. She is now free.

    http://crimemagazine.com/daycare.htm

    Case 2) Nancy Smith (school bus driver, Lorain Ohio) was convicted -- along with Joseph Allen -- and is still serving time in prison. She remains on my list of defendants that I consider to have been falsely convicted.

    http://crimemagazine.com/shameoflorain.htm
     
  2. Loading...


  3. cathieq

    cathieq New Member

    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  4. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The vast majority of the slew of people convicted (falsely) in the forty, or so, child abuse cases of the 80's and early 90's have quitely been released from prison.

    All of those trials shared two common denominators; i.e., overzealous and/or crooked prosecutors and jurors who lacked substantial reasoning skills-- that is why he (Halsey) was convicted too.

    If we had professional jurors, the convictions would not have happened.
     
  5. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

    Messages:
    2,173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dude, professional jurors are jurists. i.e. LAWYERS.

    Do we really need LAWYERS involved in every aspect of the legal system?
     
  6. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    There is a professional managing a trial, a/k/a a Judge. These are professionals for the defendant and plaintiff, a/k/a attorneys. And, for the most part, there are pure amateurs who decide a case.

    A key point is that in most trials, including most criminal trials, are usually based on a high degree of circumstantial evidence. Therefore, inferences -- usually inductive inferences though sometimes deductive inferences -- must be drawn to a conclusion, and, thus, they usually are the deciding factor.

    However, the problem is that tests have repeatedly that shown few people untrained in classical applied logic know if their conclusion is valid and/or true. Moreover, few untrained people truly understand how to assess and guage evidence/facts against our standard of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt".

    So, for the most part, rank amateurs decide cases. And that's a huge part of the reason behind why a hundred plus people were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in the sexual abuse trial hysteria that swept America in the 80's and early 90's.
     
  7. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

    Messages:
    26,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm not sure if I agree with professional juries, but if it (the jury) consisted of attorneys, they would be better able to apply the law and possibly be better equipped to keep emotions out of their decisions. Keep in mind also, that a defendant doesn't HAVE to have a jury trial. They can always ask for the judge to decide the case, but then you'd still have a lawyer. :)
     
  8. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    In most any profession, keeping emotions out of decisions is the province of a true professional. All jurors should certainly posses that capability, though many jurors do not. Too often, jury deliberations become a war zone of emotions.

    If we cannot get around to developing professional jurors, I would accept having an applied logic reasoning test administered to all prospective jurors.

    I should note that when the general public is given an applied logic test, which offers 5 multiple choice options, their average score is in the high 20% to low 30% range. In other words, on average, the general public fails them horrendously. Simply put, on average, the general public lacks adequate reasoning skills.

    I would be ok with letting prospective jurors being made available for voir dire providing they scored 80% or better on an applied logic test (C level). If they scored below 80%, I would send them home.

    This process would ensure that the jury box is filled with people who have at least an adequate skill set in classical reasoning. In turn, I would expect many jury deliberation sessions to advance in a far less emotional manner.

    P.S. Given the hysteria that surrounded the sex abuse trials of the 80's and 90's, I do think that many jurors might well have fared better if they had requested a bench verdict. A good defense attorney should have been able to get a reading on the objectivity of the trial Judge. Clearly, most of the local citizenry had decided the defendants were guilty before the trial had even commenced.
     
  9. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

    Messages:
    26,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When children are the victims, I think its impossible for "some" jurors to keep emotion out of it to a certain degree. I'm still not certain that professional juries are the way to go though. For a prosecutor to get somewhat emotional is a good thing. For a juror to base a verdict on it is not. Many laws would have to be rewritten though and I don't see that happening anytime soon.
     
  10. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    I sadly agree.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice