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Evidence: Just How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2014 | Evidence

Sometimes witnesses say incredibly stupid things.  They create evidence as they go. Here’s a favorite:

Lawyer: “Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?” Witness: “I refuse to answer that question.”

Lawyer: “Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago” Witness: “I refuse to answer that question.”

Lawyer: “Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?” Witness: “No.”

Witnesses say and do the darndest things.

Once upon a time our species determined truth by jamming a stick into the ground and letting it go.  Whichever way the stick fell was sufficient evidence of the truth.  We’ve come a long way since then.

Socrates has refined our craft (actually Plato).  Aristotle refined our craft. Wittgenstein, Kant, Lakoff and even Sartre have refined our craft.  Our species has enjoyed centuries of figuring out much better ways to ascertain truth. We’ve gotten really good at it.

That’s why it is such a blast when a witness chooses to lie to us. A witness who lies becomes fair game for crucifixion. The game is on.  It’s like open season on stupidity. 

“Were you there on August 12th?”  “I was no where near there on August 12th?” The Attorney produces the picture of the witness there on August 12th.

“I have always been faithful to my husband.”  The Attorney produces the video of the witness in increasingly intimate embrace with someone who is not her husband.  “That’s as far as it went.”  The attorney produces the hotel receipt, paid in cash by the witness. “I stayed the night alone.”  The attorney produces the contents of the hotel trash can, complete with evidence that she was not alone and she wasn’t playing Scrabble, either.

“I’m barely getting by.”  The attorney produces the loan application where the witness claimed income of $150,000.00 a year.  “I was turned down.”  The attorney produces the photograph of the witness driving a brand new Mercedes. “It is not my car.”  The attorney produces a copy of the title showing otherwise.

As a hard and fast rule, don’t lie.  It doesn’t end well.

But, if honesty is not going to be your strong suit, please lie to me.  Please lie to the court.  It is terribly entertaining as we take you apart, piece by piece. It brings a little pleasure into our otherwise humdrum lives.  (I’m being sarcastic here. Our lives are far from humdrum.)

Just keeping believing that the attorney, the whole justice system, is so stupid that you can get away with anything. 

Tell me how that works out for you. (snicker)

Michael Manely