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Death Star: whats up friends
Death Star: ayooo im the death star, sick
Moon: surprised so many people said reasonable doubt was 99%
Moon: are we 99% sure about anything?
Umbriel: hand sanitizer...
Nilfgaard: 100% sure my name is my name
Procyon B: I think the idea is that you can't think about it in terms of a percentage
Beauclair: Does that just allow each juror to assign whatever rough percentage they want to the standard, though?
Death Star: I think you have to think about the probabilities on the larger scale because there are millions of cases a year. so lets pretend everyone at HLS (about 1600 people) was put on trial and you were right at your level of confidence. at 90 percent you are comfortable locking up 160 people.
Whirlpool: i'm starving
Death Star: 160 people that you know are innocent
Nilfgaard: I don't think that's the case at all.
Nilfgaard: and that's the issue with a percentage
Death Star: i think there are issues with percentages too for that reason, but thats why i think people want to put the percentage high
Procyon B: What if you had a trial where they said - we are 100% sure the murder was committed by someone who accessed Room X on Sept 22. Def A accessed the room 99 times that day (and was in the room for 99% of the time the room was occupied) and someone else accessed it once. Are we 99% sure it was Def A?
Moon: wouldnt that person have to have murdered himself
Nilfgaard: let's be honest, this is about how comfortable a person is with potentially being wrong and sending someone to jail. I don't think every juror who has ever voted guilty has been 99% sure, but I think there's an underlying feeling of "I don't want to risk being wrong"
Nilfgaard: and the risk being wrong"
Ross 154: sorry that was to moon
Procyon B: I don't think it's about a percentage. I think if you convict, you are saying "some really crazy and unbelievable must have happened, or this guy did it".
Death Star: to luyten i would say no, but i appreciate how you are approaching the question
Death Star: my response was to your hypo not the last comment
Vorash: I agree with what luyten just said, that's why it
Procyon B: ^that's fair, see how the hypo limps
Vorash: it's reasonable doubt, not just any doubt
Death Star: i think thats right but it opens up the question about what percentage of something makes it "crazy and unbelievable"
Vorash: there's also a chance that something crazy happened that could explain it, but that's not a reasonable doubt.
Nilfgaard: It's a lot more normative than based on a specific number
Death Star: things that are 1/1000 happen 1 in 1000 times
Vorash: yeah but i think 10% is way too high
Moon: i just think if i thought there was a 10% chance that someone was innocent i wouldn't convict
Beauclair: yea but we can't be sure everyone will act that way
Nilfgaard: And I pray you're on every jury
Beauclair: do we want some jurors operating on a 10% threshold
Procyon B: People believe they have a shot at winning the lottery - so it seems most people's realm of "the possible" is pretty broad
Nilfgaard: agreed with Beauclair
Death Star: and if there are a million trials then they happen 1000 times
Nilfgaard: lottery and murder trial are going to hit folks differently
Beauclair: i think i'd actually push for a much clearer standard, whether it's percentages or not
Beauclair: if thinking about it in percentages helps, then fine
Whirlpool: i feel OJ must have been guilty with AT LEAST 90% certainty but we saw how that went
Beauclair: but i'd rather not allow some people to think "reasonable doubt" means 80% sure
Death Star: *someone* wins the raffle every time
Ross 154: i chose 90% because i felt that even we are "absolutely certain" about something it's only around 95% confidence
Procyon B: I wouldn't - I think math is pretty artificial - it's an abstraction of reality, not reality itself. You would have to transalte the percentage to some practical instruction anyway, since you can't actually quantify the likelihood of guilt
Moon: which is whatmakes the percentage useless if you think about it
Moon: what exactly does 95% mean to anyone
Vorash: I don't think jury instructions are stated in a way that would lead most people to think it's 80%, imo
Beauclair: that's fine, i'm not wedded to the idea that we need to use hard numbers. but if beyond a reasonable doubt is leading some people to think about it as 90%, that's not ok to me either
Umbriel: If we can't use percentages, what terminology would work better than "beyond a reasonable doubt" ?
Umbriel: IMO that phrase is very confusing
Death Star: I think its useful to think about these as percentages, but really its a "can i sleep at night with this stranger behind bars" standard
Vorash: I don't think we need a different term, I think you just need clear jury instructions that explain the level of certainty required
Beauclair: which is horrifying considering widespread biases in our society
Beauclair: re: death star
Nilfgaard: If I have to give a number, there's a difference between what I want and realistically what that number is. If the question was what do you want, then my number would be 99% or 100% you need to be extra certain if you're going to have years off of someone's lives by putting them in jail.
Vorash: A charge is proved beyond a reasonable doubt if, after you have compared and considered all of the evidence, you have in your minds an abiding conviction, to a moral certainty, that the charge is true. When we refer to moral certainty, we mean the highest degree of certainty possible in matters relating to human affairs -- based solely on the evidence that has been put before you in this case.
Vorash: Just found that online, it's part of a jury instruction
Vorash: what do you think?
Moon: yeah it just seems to me that at 99% nobody would go to jail
Moon: and whether thats appropriate is a conversation for a different time
Death Star: i think the "moral certainty" element goes straight to my "sleep at night" theory
Moon: i think so yes
Nilfgaard: It's all connected at the end of the day.
Moon: just becuase we're asking the question what reasonable doubt means
Moon: not whether we should abolish prisons
Moon: we can find someone guilty and say no prisons
Procyon B: I wonder what the standard is for prosecutorial discretion. Is the Prosecutor also expected to believe he is "morally certain" the person he is charging is guilty?
Moon: but the question is of the guilt itself
Beauclair: I like the "abiding conviction, to a moral certainty" language. It seems clearer to me than "beyond a reasonable doubt"
Beauclair: i might want to change the initial phrase, and keep the instruction
Death Star: Beauclair i like that a lot
Nilfgaard: I take your point Moon
Death Star: because moral certainty is more illustrative than "reasonable doubt"
Whirlpool: I agree Zorkon
Death Star: i dont have a zorkon so thats pretty funny
Procyon B: do we need some kind of standard for morals then?
Vorash: good talk ya'll
OP: @Luyten 726-8A: On your hypo, sounds like the person who was there all day was doing something there, whereas the person who was there only for a moment came to do dirty work and be gone.