Guilty – even with no crime

Hi Grit

I thought that we in the UK were the one who had to be concerned about being guilty until we can prove ourselves innocent, but it seems from a report I read today that your lawyers and justice departments are taking this theory to the next level, that being guilty even if no crime has been committed.

The case concerns one of your actors, Daniel Baldwin. It seems that he was given the keys to a friends car by a relative who omitted to tell the friend. Mr Smith, unaware the care had been borrowed, reported it stolen and Baldwin was subsequently arrested and bailed. According to Mr Baldwin’s lawyer, Mr Smith will vouch that it was all a mistake.

However, the reason I was surprised about this case is that when everyone turned up in court, Mr Smith included, they all expected the matter to be dealt with and dismissed. This did not happen. Despite Mr Smith willing to testify the district attorney was not prepared to dismiss the case. Am I a little behind the times here or what? If there is no case to answer, what purpose is being served in the district attorney refusing it to be settled? Thus, at this time, the DA is pressing ahead with the charges against Mr Baldwin for a crime that he could not possibly have committed because their was no crime to answer in the first place! This procedure is even tougher than ours in the UK, and I would not have thought that possible.

Mind you, it could be worse, he could get sent to prison yet for a crime he did not commit because no crime too place to begin with, if you understand my logic.

the Brit 

5 Responses to “Guilty – even with no crime”

  1. britandgrit Says:

    Hi Brit,

    While I haven’t been following that case in detail, Mr. Baldwin, as I understand it, decided not to show up in court. Judges and DAs get very testy when people ignore them. Oh, and the initial summons to appear was issued before Mr. Smith came forward. Once the wheels of justice are in motion, they are hard to stop. In this instance, I suspect, that the DA suspects Mr. Baldwin may have tampered with the witness, Mr. Smith. I’ll keep an eye on this as the drama continues.

    the Grit

  2. surfsander Says:

    It’s hard to say the reasoning behind this action, and without the info, I would prefer not to assume a motive, but the headline caught me for personal reasons. When I was in highschool, I had two friends get in a fight. Friend A got a little rough with Friend B’s girlfriend, Friend B didn’t like it much (rightfully so) and punched him once, breaking both, his hand and Friend A’s jaw. After everything calmed down, it came out that friend B walked up at the wrong time because Friend A and B’s girlfriend were horsing around and the “violence” was not malicious. Both friends made up, apologized for their respective parts, and continue to be friends to this day, (they both visited me about five years ago, while they were in Florida on vacation together.) No charges were filed by any of the three people involved or any of the parents, now this is where it gets messed up, the state picked up the case and found Friend B guilty of assault and battery, against the protest of all involved in the actual incident. Justice?

  3. britandgrit Says:

    They do say that Justice is blind sometimes surfrider.

    Hey Grit

    I noticed the absence from court, but over here that is quite frequent, especially in minor cases. People see it as a game to wind up the legal authorities.

    the Brit

  4. britandgrit Says:

    Hi surfsander,

    When I was in college, so many years ago, I got a ticket on the way back home. It turned out to be from a policeman who did not like my step father (a trial lawyer.) The court date, not having been doing anything wrong I chose court, conflicted with my class schedule, so we filed to postpone the hearing. Once the second pass came around, the judge, after hearing the evidence, declared that I was, indeed, innocent. However, since I had the audacity to legally postpone the trial, he found me guilty and charged me $1 plus court costs of $110. Justice at last.

    Brit, over here, not showing up for court is, in itself, a crime. For some reason, that in all my years of education and reading has never been explained to me, once one is in a court, or even summoned to one, the judge has dictatorial, almost godly, powers. At his/her whim, one can be fined any amount of money or thrown in jail for an indeterminate period of time. This is called, “contempt of court,” and is one of the by products of our earlier power struggle between the Judicial Branch of our Government and the other two, which, for reasons I don’t have time to go into here, the Judicial Branch won. That battle, which gave the Judicial Branch the power to trump both the President and Congress, and to rewrite laws, happened over a hundred years ago, if memory serves, and marked the end of our original Constitutional Republic. We’ve suffered from this, off and on, since then from such things as courts dictating that local governments raise taxes to pay for social services to the notorious decision of “busing” where it was mandated by an unelected court that our public schools must be racially balanced, necessitating in far too many cases that children had to spend hours on school buses going to distant schools so that there were the appropriate number of black and white faces in the classrooms.

    Yes, if you haven’t notices, we are at least as screwed up as y’all are.

    the Grit

  5. britandgrit Says:

    Hi Grit

    We too have contempt of court for major crimes but a) in minor cases they give you a second chance and b) if the judge decrees you are innocent he/she is not allowed to make any other decision. Of course, our current direction is towards a situation where if you sneeze it will be a crime and you will need to proof beyond “reasonable” doubt that it was induced by natural causes, oh and probably get a signed statement from God to attest that sneezing is a natural nasal process.

    the Brit

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