Saturday, June 17, 2017

Conflating Guilt

You know Cosby's guilty.  You just know it.  But the jury hung!?

What is it that the jury did't get?  How could they have been so confused? 

And that cop in Minnesota, Jeronimo Yanez.  The one who killed Philando Castile who's girlfriend caught it all on video.  Acquitted?  

Gimme a break.

I mean, we know.  We just fuckin' know. 

Which is, kinda, the problem.  Sorta.  In part.

Greenfield explains today why Cosby may not actually be guilty.*  But, well, Scott only touches on a part of it.  Because guilt is complicated.  As is innocence.

I've talked about these things at length before (here for instance).  I'm going to try doing it simply, now.

So -- 


By which you mean exactly, what, Grasshopper?

Legal?  Cosby will be legally guilty only if and when a jury says they are convinced that the prosecutor proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the offense as set forth in the Pennsylvania criminal code.  Legal guilt is, essentially, a question of what the jury says it believes based on the evidence presented.

Factual?  Cosby will be factually guilty of violating that law, whatever the prosecutor does or does not prove to the satisfaction of the jury, if he in fact did each of the elements of the offense as set forth in the Pennsylvania criminal code.  The jury may or may not reach a verdict (OK, this jury didn't actually reach a verdict at all, but that's a quibble) that conforms to factual guilt.  That's why factual and legal guilt aren't the same thing.

Moral?  The fucking SOB is a pig who ought to be strung up by his fingernails.  Sometimes moral guilt equates with factual or legal guilt.  Sometimes not.  Nobody said life is fair.  And nobody says that we're all going to make the same moral judgements.  You know, life sucks.

Biblical?  We're all children of original sin, if you believe that shit.  Ain't none of who isn't guilty. Sigh.

Which brings us to



Legal?  Unless and until a jury says he's guilty, he's legally innocent.  Wholly and completely. Without exception.  Which has, of course, nothing beyond vain hope and some degree of luck and coincidence, to do with 

Factual?  As in, he did not in fact do each and every one of the things the statutes set out as elements of the offense.  Which may or may not match up with 

Moral?  Is what he did subject to moral opprobrium?  Kinda depends on whose morals you look at, I imagine.  

Biblical?  Is he saved?  God'll sort it out.  If she's so inclined.  And exists.


*And with the hung jury he is, at least for now, wholly and completely innocent - in a way.  (Keep reading the damn post to learn the way.

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