• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Should there be a most likely suspect verdict in our legal system with possibly a lesser sentence?

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
Let's say that our criminal justice system has found that beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is the most likely suspect to have committed the crime. Should there be any punishment for that type of verdict? Perhaps there could be a reduced penalty.
 

bearpoker

aspiring cat lady
DP Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
17,282
Reaction score
10,076
Location
Tennessee
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Let's say that our criminal justice system has found that beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is the most likely suspect to have committed the crime. Should there be any punishment for that type of verdict? Perhaps there could be a reduced penalty.

Most likely suspect is not the standard. That's not a conviction. No punishment.
 

maquiscat

Maquis Admiral
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
14,627
Reaction score
4,745
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Let's say that our criminal justice system has found that beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is the most likely suspect to have committed the crime. Should there be any punishment for that type of verdict? Perhaps there could be a reduced penalty.
If it is a most likely situation then it is not beyond reasonable doubt. It's not justice if you punish the wrong person just to punish someone.

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk
 

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
If it is a most likely situation then it is not beyond reasonable doubt. It's not justice if you punish the wrong person just to punish someone.

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

Like I said, they have found that beyond a reasonable doubt, he is the most likely suspect. A theory can never be disproven without a better theory to replace it.
 

bearpoker

aspiring cat lady
DP Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
17,282
Reaction score
10,076
Location
Tennessee
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Like I said, they have found that beyond a reasonable doubt, he is the most likely suspect. A theory can never be disproven without a better theory to replace it.

Most likely is not the standard. It's not sufficient for a conviction. The standard is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect did commit the crime, not that he was more likely to have committed it than anyone else. There is no requirement that someone has to be convicted. The requirement is that the guilty person be convicted. We don't punish someone because they probably did it. That's not how it works.
 

Captain Adverse

Classical Liberal Sage
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Messages
16,422
Reaction score
21,598
Location
Mid-West USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Like I said, they have found that beyond a reasonable doubt, he is the most likely suspect. A theory can never be disproven without a better theory to replace it.

Again, one is not found "the most likely suspect." One is found GUILTY beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now it is true this does not mean with 100% certainty the person is actually guilty of the crime. We have evidence in the form of the Innocence Project to show that some people were wrongly convicted.

However, the person found guilty is not considered a "suspect" but rather a criminal and once this is determined then a Judge passes sentence as prescribed by law.
 
Last edited:

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
Again, one is not found "the most likely suspect." One is found GUILTY beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now it is true this does not mean with 100% certainty the person is actually guilty of the crime. We have evidence in the form of the Innocence Project to show that some people were wrongly convicted.

However, the person found guilty is not considered a "suspect" but rather a perpetrator, and once this is determined then a Judge passes sentence as prescribed by law.

A theory can never be disparaged without a better theory to replace it. You can't argue against the theory of his guilt without providing a better suspect to replace him with.

We already disadvantage the prosecution in so many ways it's ridiculous. They start the trial with the jury coming in out of nowhere for crying out loud. The police and the prosecutor have no chance to meet with the jury and educate them on the facts of the case before the prosecutor selects a judge and the defendant is brought before the court and informed of what he is being accused of. People are getting away with crimes because of this.

Then, the prosecutor has to share all of his evidence with the defendant's lawyer beforehand so he can figure out a way to talk his way out of it ahead of time. He can't share it with the jury before the trial, except he has to share it with the defense before the trial. Doesn't this seem kind of backwards to you?
 

Captain Adverse

Classical Liberal Sage
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Messages
16,422
Reaction score
21,598
Location
Mid-West USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
A theory can never be disparaged without a better theory to replace it. You can't argue against the theory of his guilt without providing a better suspect to replace him with.

We already disadvantage the prosecution in so many ways it's ridiculous. They start the trial with the jury coming in out of nowhere for crying out loud. The police and the prosecutor have no chance to meet with the jury and educate them on the facts of the case before the prosecutor selects a judge and the defendant is brought before the court and informed of what he is being accused of. People are getting away with crimes because of this.

Then, the prosecutor has to share all of his evidence with the defendant's lawyer beforehand so he can figure out a way to talk his way out of it ahead of time. He can't share it with the jury before the trial, except he has to share it with the defense before the trial. Doesn't this seem kind of backwards to you?

I'm sorry but I had to laugh at the bolded portion of your post above. "Disadvantaged" the Prosecution?

The State starts off with a salaried investigation organization (the local police department) which is often supported by State funded or State paid Crime Scene Investigation resources. There is also the local Coroner's Office, as well as salaried psychologists and psychiatrists for mental evaluations. Their evidence is presented to the Prosecutor's office and if they deem it sufficient they pursue trial.

The defendant has only his own resources, and private defense is extremely costly. If the defendant runs out of funds, or is considered to otherwise qualify for the services of the Public Defender's office then all he has is the very limited resources of said office.

The overwhelming power of the State was so recognized by our Founding Fathers, no less than FOUR of the first 10 Amendments (4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th) protect citizens facing criminal actions.

The entire weight of the State against the defense...and you think the State is "burdened" by the requirement of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? :roll:
 
Last edited:

Lutherf

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
40,624
Reaction score
47,060
Location
Tucson, AZ
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Let's say that our criminal justice system has found that beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is the most likely suspect to have committed the crime. Should there be any punishment for that type of verdict? Perhaps there could be a reduced penalty.

You're talking about a civil penalty, not a criminal one. OJ, for example, was found Not Guilty in the criminal case but then found liable in the Civil case against him.
 

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
I'm sorry but I had to laugh at the bolded portion of your post above. "Burdened" the Prosecution?

The State starts off with a salaried investigation organization (the local police department) which is often supported by State funded or State paid Crime Scene Investigation resources. There is also the local Coroner's Office, as well as salaried psychologists and psychiatrists for mental evaluations. Their evidence is presented to the Prosecutor's office and if they deem it sufficient they pursue trial.

The defendant has only his own resources, and private defense is extremely costly. If the defendant runs out of funds, or is considered to otherwise qualify for the services of the Public Defender's office then all he has is the very limited resources of said office.

The overwhelming power of the State was so recognized by our Founding Fathers, no less than FIVE of the first 10 Amendments (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th) protect citizens facing criminal and civil actions.

The entire weight of the State against the defense...and you think the State is "burdened" by the requirement of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? :roll:

So, does the prosecution get to educate the jury before the process starts? Does he have to present his evidence to the defense before the trial starts? In fact, in some way my ideas would benefit innocent defendants. The prosecutor can't proceed until he can convince the jury the defendant is guilty, so his name never gets drug through the media. Only at that point would the defendant be brought before the court and told to get a lawyer. After he gets a lawyer, he would then be informed of what the prosecutor has been able to convince a jury he is guilty of. If he pleads innocent, he and his lawyer would be informed of the evidence against him as it is brought before the court.
 
Last edited:

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
So, does the prosecution get to educate the jury before the process starts? Does he have to present his evidence to the defense before the trial starts? In fact, in some way my ideas would benefit innocent defendants. The prosecutor can't proceed until he can convince the jury the defendant is guilty, so his name never gets drug through the media. Only at that point would the defendant be brought before the court and told to get a lawyer. After he gets a lawyer, he would then be informed of what the prosecutor has been able to convince a jury he is guilty of. If he pleads innocent, he and his lawyer would be informed of the evidence against him as it is brought before the court.

Possibly a civil penalty instead of a guilty penalty in the case of a "most likely suspect" verdict.
 

AGENT J

"If you ain't first, you're last"
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
65,687
Reaction score
19,753
Location
Pittsburgh
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Let's say that our criminal justice system has found that beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is the most likely suspect to have committed the crime. Should there be any punishment for that type of verdict? Perhaps there could be a reduced penalty.

I wish there was a better word than NO or a better phrase then **** no !!!
because I cant plain and answer what a complete horrible and stupid idea this is and one i would never want in my country because it would no longer be the USA my country it would be something completely different. I like the rights we have and i dont want them stripped away. In fact i like them to get better not worse and this would make it worse.
 

maquiscat

Maquis Admiral
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
14,627
Reaction score
4,745
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Like I said, they have found that beyond a reasonable doubt, he is the most likely suspect. A theory can never be disproven without a better theory to replace it.
I am kind of lost here. It sounds more like you are trying to use the definition of a person legally found guilty of a crime for something other than being legally guilty of a crime.

Are you saying that there is enough evidence that the person is most likely to have done it but not enough to show he did it?

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk
 

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
I am kind of lost here. It sounds more like you are trying to use the definition of a person legally found guilty of a crime for something other than being legally guilty of a crime.

Are you saying that there is enough evidence that the person is most likely to have done it but not enough to show he did it?

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

I am saying that there is not enough evidence to say that he is beyond a reasonable doubt guilty, except he is more likely than anyone else to be guilty.
 

eohrnberger

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
45,875
Reaction score
29,749
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Why the need to re-write the legal code when its served the society as well as it has for as long as it has?
 

Moderate71

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
333
Reaction score
36
Political Leaning
Moderate
Why the need to re-write the legal code when its served the society as well as it has for as long as it has?

Because people are getting away with crimes. However, my system would be better for innocent people.
 

SDET

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2015
Messages
7,802
Reaction score
1,608
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Why the need to re-write the legal code when its served the society as well as it has for as long as it has?

There's no need to change the legal code. What he is describing sounds awfully close to a plea bargain. There's ample evidence innocent people pleading guilty because they didn't have the resources to legally defend themselves.
 

polgara

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
20,215
Reaction score
17,786
Location
NE Ohio
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Other
I wish there was a better word than NO or a better phrase then **** no !!!
because I cant plain and answer what a complete horrible and stupid idea this is and one i would never want in my country because it would no longer be the USA my country it would be something completely different. I like the rights we have and i dont want them stripped away. In fact i like them to get better not worse and this would make it worse.

Greetings, Agent J. :2wave:

:agree: Why would having a "likely suspect" be an improvement, and who would make that decision? I always thought that was why we have jury trials, to prevent such things from occurring! :thumbdown:
 

AGENT J

"If you ain't first, you're last"
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
65,687
Reaction score
19,753
Location
Pittsburgh
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Greetings, Agent J. :2wave:

:agree: Why would having a "likely suspect" be an improvement, and who would make that decision? I always thought that was why we have jury trials, to prevent such things from occurring! :thumbdown:
grettings
it wouldnt, you musta read something wrong i specifically said it would make it worse and its a horrible and stupid idea ;)
 

eohrnberger

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
45,875
Reaction score
29,749
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Because people are getting away with crimes. However, my system would be better for innocent people.

'most likely suspect' being sufficient for a conviction is somehow better for innocent people?
You don't think that innocent people would be more easily caught up in the 'most likely suspect' standard for conviction?
 

eohrnberger

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
45,875
Reaction score
29,749
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
I wish there was a better word than NO or a better phrase then **** no !!!
because I cant plain and answer what a complete horrible and stupid idea this is and one i would never want in my country because it would no longer be the USA my country it would be something completely different. I like the rights we have and i dont want them stripped away. In fact i like them to get better not worse and this would make it worse.

On this topic we agree. :)
 

eohrnberger

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
45,875
Reaction score
29,749
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
There's no need to change the legal code. What he is describing sounds awfully close to a plea bargain. There's ample evidence innocent people pleading guilty because they didn't have the resources to legally defend themselves.

If you alter the standard from 'beyond reasonable doubt' to 'most likely suspect', would you not have to re-write some laws to do so?

Not sure if its 'awfully close to a plea bargain', as the jury would have to find 'most likely suspect' rather than guilty, wouldn't it?

I may have missed it, but I don't recall any sort of reduced sentence associated with a 'most likely suspect' sentence.
 

polgara

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
20,215
Reaction score
17,786
Location
NE Ohio
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Other
grettings
it wouldnt, you musta read something wrong i specifically said it would make it worse and its a horrible and stupid idea ;)

And I agree 100 percent with your post!! It's one of the worse ideas I've heard in a long time! :2mad:
 

AGENT J

"If you ain't first, you're last"
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
65,687
Reaction score
19,753
Location
Pittsburgh
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
And I agree 100 percent with your post!! It's one of the worse ideas I've heard in a long time! :2mad:

me too . . . one of the worst in a long time . . .i dont even understand how anybody could see any logic in and why they would want to have less rights . . .its very weird
 

eohrnberger

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
45,875
Reaction score
29,749
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
me too . . . one of the worst in a long time . . .i dont even understand how anybody could see any logic in and why they would want to have less rights . . .its very weird

Civics education faltering perhaps?
 
Top Bottom