The other big difference is that today the defendant has a lawyer that 
generally takes the defense role more seriously than in the past.

Thanks,
Chris Austin-Lane
Sent from a cell phone

On Oct 29, 2010, at 6:21, mike brown <uerusub...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> 
> 
> Bill!,
>  
> But there's a world of difference between these 2 examples, and which also 
> highlights the difference between beliefs based on superstition and 
> scientific 'beliefs'. Namely, that one can be empirically tested with a high 
> degree of predictability/certainty, and the other is based on nothing but 
> faith (with mostly hit and miss results). A modern jury understands this and 
> can rely on evidence provided by a DNA expert/science just as they do when 
> they go to a doctor or fly in a plane. 
>  
> Mike  
> 
> From: "billsm...@hhs1963.org" <billsm...@hhs1963.org>
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Fri, 29 October, 2010 19:18:49
> Subject: RE: [Zen] Non-zen Question for Mike
> 
> Mike,
> 
> I would choose a western surgeon over a shaman. I trust DNA evidence more 
> than cat entrails. But that's not the point. If I had lived 300 years ago I 
> would have probably chosen a shaman over someone who wanted to open me up 
> with a knife, and I would have believed a priest reading cat entrails before 
> some crazy idea that people are made up of little invisible pieces that are 
> unique.
> 
> ...Bill!
> 
> From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf 
> Of mike brown
> Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 4:27 PM
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [Zen] Non-zen Question for Mike
> 
> Bill!,
> 
> At a functional level, the majority of people will choose science over 
> superstion because it is *seen* to be both effective and predictable - even 
> tho most people don't know the minutae of its workings. Even tho you have no 
> formal understanding of medical procedure, who would you choose to treat your 
> appendicitis - a shaman or a western surgeon? 
> 
> Mike 
> 
> ________________________________________
> From: "billsm...@hhs1963.org" <billsm...@hhs1963.org>
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Fri, 29 October, 2010 17:08:50
> Subject: RE: [Zen] Non-zen Question for Mike
> 
> Mike,
> 
> The point I was trying to make was that modern-day juries know nothing more 
> about DNA than juries 300 years ago knew about cat entrails. They are both 
> just taking the word of an expert witness. That is why I question why DNA 
> evidence is given such a powerful role in our justice system.
> 
> I doubt if we today "..tend to accept scientific evidence as being closet 
> [sic] thing to 'truth'..." any more than people 300 years ago accepted 
> without question the words of a priest.
> 
> ...Bill!
> 
> From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf 
> Of mike brown
> Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:19 PM
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [Zen] Non-zen Question for Mike
> 
> Bill,
> 
> The scenarios you present are so radically different that it makes me think 
> I'm missing some finer, subtler point - but for the life of me I can't find 
> it! A jury will take into consideration the standards/accepted know.ledge of 
> the time when they make a decision. Ask someone today whether they would 
> rather have anti-biotics or be bled by leeches and I think you'll know which 
> way they'll decide *even tho* they aren't qualified doctors. Also, if the 
> defence could bring in credible opposition to DNA then it would be done (I'd 
> LOVE to see a creationist take the stand to argue against science!). I think 
> I have a rough idea as to what you're driving at (faith) but these days we 
> tend to accept scientific evidence as being tested (and peer-reviewed) to 
> such a highly predictable degree as to be the closet thing to 'truth' as can 
> be objectively judged/trusted. Hope that answers your question somewhat 
> (considering I never got past 'sums' in high school science classes).
> 
> Mike 
> 
> ________________________________________
> From: "billsm...@hhs1963.org" <billsm...@hhs1963.org>
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Tue, 26 October, 2010 19:41:01
> Subject: RE: [Zen] Non-zen Question for Mike
> 
> Mike,
> 
> What is the difference between these two scenarios?
> 
> 1. TODAY: A man is accused of rape and murder. He is brought to trial by 
> jury. Semen is found in the body of the woman. DNA is extracted from the 
> accused and from the semen. A DNA expert comes into court and testifies that 
> the samples are a match. The jury believes the DNA expert and convicts the 
> accused.
> 
> 2. 300 YEARS AGO: A man is accused of rape and murder. He is brought to trial 
> by jury. A priest comes into court and testifies that he cut open a cat and 
> saw in the entrails that the man was guilty. The jury believes the priest and 
> convicts the accused.
> 
> And before you answer, do you really believe the members of each of these 
> juries knows enough themselves about DNA or cat entrails to make a decision 
> on anything else than just the testimony of the expert witness?
> 
> ...Bill!
> 
> From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogr! oups.com] On 
> Behalf Of mike brown
> Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 10:29 PM
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [Zen] Non-zen Question for Mike
> 
> Bill!,
> 
> Forensic evidence is a specialised area for criminal lawyers so I'll tread 
> carefully on this subject. Firstly, each case turns on its own facts so you'd 
> have to go through each situation (regarding dna) case by case. Secondly, I 
> don't think it's correct to say that any ruling is automatically over-turned 
> because of dna evidence. True, there have been situations where a person has 
> been exonerated, but you're correct to say that this doesn't prove the person 
> is innocent. But this is just as true as when there is insufficent evidence 
> to convict someone, but this doesn't equate to their innocence either. 
> 
> My opinion is that new advances in science are just as applicable in the 
> court room setting as they are anywhere else. If you were wrongly convicted 
> of rape 15 years ago primarily because a rapists mask was found in your 
> possession, I'm thinking you'd be pretty happy when dna testing on the 
> perspiration inside the mask didn't match your own. Even things like the 
> saliva on the back of a stamp can go on to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) 
> who did or didn't send that stalking/threatening/murder letter. In my 
> experience, most criminals are pretty dumb so dna evidence is much more 
> likely to convict the guilty than release them and more likely to protect the 
> innocent rather than convict them. Nothing is 100% failsafe tho.
> 
> Mike 
> ________________________________________
> From: "billsm...@hhs1963.org" <billsm...@hhs1963.org>
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Mon, 25 October, 2010 13:15:08
> Subject: [Zen] Non-zen Question for Mike
> 
> Mike,
> 
> In a previous post you indicated you had gone to law school.
> 
> Could you tell me why (or at least give me your opinion as to why) DNA
> evidence seems to be treated as some kind of super-evidence in our judicial
> system? I thought there were only two types of evidence: direct and
> circumstantial. Why would DNA evidence be treated differently as some other
> kind of direct evidence, such as eye-witness testimony or fingerprints?
> 
> Also, why are so many prisoners' convictions being overturned because of new
> DNA evidence? For example, if someone was convicted of murder, and a hair
> or skin or blood or semen sample taken from the victim shows DNA that is not
> the same as the one convicted, why does that AUTOMATICALLY overturn the
> verdict? The convicted could have still killed the victim and the DNA might
> have come from someone else also involved.
> 
> It just seems like DNA is used like a trump card in our judicial system
> instead of just another piece of evidence to consider.
> 
> Thanks.Bill! 
> 
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