Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Facts and Evidence

I created the top cartoon in May 2013 to illustrate how an Anthrax Truther looks at facts and evidence.  Now, I realize that if the Truther were a lawyer presenting his case in court, he would not say or imply that facts are evidence.  He would argue that the highlighted A's and T's are evidence which he believes should establish a "fact" for the jury.  Whether the jury believes his "fact" is another matter.

Personally, however, I think the top cartoon is funnier.  And there would be nothing wrong with that wording if the presentation were being made outside of a courtroom.

The copy of "The People's Law Dictionary" in my personal library contains these definitions:
FACT: n.  an actual thing or happening, which must be proved at trial by presentation of evidence and which is evaluated by the finder or fact (a jury in a jury trial, or by the judge if he/she sits without a jury).
EVIDENCE: n.   every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case.  It can include oral testimony of witnesses, including experts on technical matters, documents, public records, objects, photographs, and depositions (testimony under oath taken before the trial).  It also includes so-called "circumstantial evidence" which is intended to create belief by showing surrounding circumstances which logically lead to a conclusion of fact.