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View Diary: The Disturbing Obliviousness of Kossacks About an Impending Execution: An Innocent Man Will Die (317 comments)

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  •  So what you're saying... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF

    ...is that it comes down to the character of the witnesses then?

    Ok. Seven of the nine witnesses say David didn't do it. Prove they're the equivalent of Bundy et al. (Hint: they're not.)

    Of the two who are left, one was overheard confessing to the crime.

    He's wrong -- and your argument fails, too.

    •  Not necessarily the character (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Governor McCheese

      Although that would be a factor. It's credibility, which hinges on more than character. For example, one witness might not be particularly credible if, for example, she had poor eyesight and was not wearing he glasses and was some distance from the event. Another might be of exemplary character, but was on a medication which makes them prone to hallucinations. Another might be the accused's brother. There are any number of factors which could throw a witness's credibility into issue.

      •  And again... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlanF, cats in the curry, lemming22

        ...here we have nine witnesses. Seven of them say they were lying before, so these (ahem) people say they can't be trusted because they're liars. But if that's the case, their previous testimony, used to convict Davis, can't be trusted either.

        Of the two remaining, one confessed to committing the crime. He has a definite interest in getting the cops to look at someone else.

        If it comes down to witness credibility, Davis can't be executed.

        •  one admitted to committing the crime? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          noweasels

          Coles actually confessed his guilt to someone? Hadn't seen that tidbit anywhere

        •  No, seven of them don't say they were lying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liquidman, Governor McCheese

          Seven of them are claimed to have either changed their story or said something contradictory, which is not the same thing.  I'd be surprised that someone said exactly the same thing in the 16 years since.

          So we'll take that as a given.

          Of the remaining two, yes, one plausibly has a reason to lie.  What about the last one?

          I'm opposed to the death penalty in general, just because of cases like this where there isn't sufficient certainty, and it certainly sounds like there should be a review.  However, your diary is that an "innocent man will die".  Thus far, except for hearsay, there's no evidence of that.  A possibly innocent man is on death row.  That's as far as you can go.

    •  No what I'm saying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pozzo

      is that numbers alone don't mean anything.  There's a reason there's a cliché about the defense hauling out a horde of character witnesses for someone following a conviction to prove that the accused really isn't a bad sort.

      Imagine if this was a reversed situation.  None of the witnesses make any statements different from what they originally did, but one comes forward with a compelling story about who, when he worked in the prosecutors office, he witnessed police and the prosecutor basically threatening witnesses if they changed their story.  In this case there'd be only one witness against a majority who say otherwise, and it turns out he was fired, so there's the possibility he's just telling the story to raise a stink.  Do the pure numbers work the same way?  You'd have to say yes to be consistent.

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