Bring It On!

For you crystal-ball gazers out there…

March 3rd, 2007 | by Craig R. Harmon |

the jury in the trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has asked the judge several questions over it’s time of deliberations. Perhaps the most significant is this: “We would like clarification of the term ‘reasonable doubt[.]‘ … Specifically, is it necessary for the government to present evidence that it is not humanly possible for someone not to recall an event in order to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?”

Now, to me, that sounds like at least some jurors are stuck on the question of how much proof the government must posit that Libby’s statements, those which have occasioned his trial, could not have been the result of mistaken memory. Specifically, they have noted that the government has not presented evidence that human beings cannot make errors of memory that would result in Libby’s specific statements being innocent errors.

The answer, I would think, is, “No. That’s too high a hurdle for the government to have to jump.” Rather, “Do you, the juror, from your own experience, believe it possible that Libby’s statements could be the result of errors of memory. That is, do you believe it reasonable to believe that Libby’s statements could be innocent errors of memory and, if you do, you must aquit.”

Now the judge won’t answer until Monday but I thought it might be fun to try to figure out what this question might mean for the likelihood of a conviction in the case.

What do you think?

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  1. 3 Responses to “For you crystal-ball gazers out there…”

  2. By Bill Thompson on Mar 3, 2007 | Reply

    This suggests to me Libby will be convicted. The majority of the jury is trying to get the judge to tell the minority of the jury its definition of “reasonable doubt” is too high so they can convict.

  3. By Crazy Politico on Mar 3, 2007 | Reply

    I think Bill is right on the intent of asking for the clarification. However, I think instead of a convinction you’ll see a hung jury. Trying to redefine one or two juror’s own belief on “reasonable doubt” to get them to vote for a conviction is probably a tougher job than many people think.

  4. By Craig R. Harmon on Mar 3, 2007 | Reply

    Bill and Crazy,

    Thanks for sharing your opinions.  

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