Murdaugh Verdict – Circumstantial Evidence without Motive
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- This topic has 39 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 6 days, 6 hours ago by mentsch1.
March 6, 2023 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #2171572Reb EliezerParticipant
Where is justice?March 6, 2023 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #2171612
Do you think he is innocent?
In general I wouldn’t convict on circumstantial evidence
1) he lied about being there. He was caught on camera at the time and scene of the crime
2) he is a big crook and a goy is chayiv misah on theft
So why are you losing sleep over thisMarch 6, 2023 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #2171626akupermaParticipant
He admits to being a liar and a thief, on a gigantic scale – so he’s already facing a prison sentence exceeding his likely lifespan. Then he drops his alibi (admits he has been lying all along) and admits he was present at the murder scene close to the time of the murders.
If he was a Yid being tried by a Sanhedrin, he could convince them he is not guilty. If he had an serious alibi, he would have presented it. He can’t complain about the jury (he was a well known and locally respected celebrity), and the jury didn’t believe him. It should be noted he was NOT sentenced to death.March 6, 2023 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #2171636MilhouseParticipant
What do you mean, no motive? The motive was that his financial crimes were about to go public.
But even without that, suppose we didn’t know a motive, so what? Since when has it ever been necessary to know why someone committed a crime? It’s enough to prove that he did it, and the prosecution did that to the jury’s satisfaction. What else is required?
What’s wrong with circumstantial evidence? When has it EVER been the case that circumstantial evidence is not enough?March 6, 2023 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #2171638moishekapoiehParticipant
Jewish justice would not be any different
No witnesses, no warnings
Actually, I always wondered – does Jewish law ever talk about jail?
NowMarch 6, 2023 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #2171639Reb EliezerParticipant
What is the Din Torah when one lies and embezzles due to drug addiction would he be also suspect of murder? חשיד על ממוניה לא חשיד אשבועתיה.March 6, 2023 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #2171655
They jury came to a guilty verdict after three hours of deliberations in a single afternoon, street a month long trial chock full of contradictory complicated testimony and detailed evidence from both sides.
The American justice system is a farce.March 6, 2023 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #2171656
A. Specifically what proof existed that he’s guilty? There isn’t any.
B. Circumstantial evidence is, by definition, not proof. Even with circumstantial evidence the accused can be innocent despite the existence of circumstantial evidence.
C. In Beis Din circumstantial evidence can never be sufficient to find guilty of murder.March 7, 2023 12:19 am at 12:19 am #2171669
Two additional points:
1. Using 12 random people off the street, in a system that proudly insists on including lowlives, drunks and the homeless in the jury pool, who are experts in nothing, can be uneducated in basic life and are of no particular moral standing, to decide the fate of an accused’s life, is the height of rishus.
2. There’s a necessary tension regarding either giving the benefit of the doubt to the accused and acquitting him if his guilt is uncertain, even if his guilt is likely yet unproven — versus not giving him the benefit of the doubt if guilt is likely but unproven, and thereby convicting him in such circumstances, essentially using a system of guilty unless proven innocent. In a moral system we use the rule of innocent unless proven guilty; America claims to follow this principle but actually that claim is a lie as they frequently convict innocent men, and certainly often convict accuseds whose guilt was clearly not proven.
3. Correction to typo in previous post above: It should read “AFTER a month long trial” (not ‘street’).March 7, 2023 12:20 am at 12:20 am #2171671doom777Participant
This is going to be unpopular, but Harvey Weinstein’s California conviction is pure puff as well.
The American Justice system that we were sure was protecting us is no longer.March 7, 2023 12:21 am at 12:21 am #2171680
When there’s doubt, it’s far better to risk letting a guilty man go free than to risk an innocent man spending his life in prison.March 7, 2023 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #2171770
First recorded cases of unjustified prosecution: Vashti for rebellion and Haman for assault on the queen 👸
No justice, no megilaMarch 7, 2023 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm #2171771
I have not followed this trial too closely but I agree with ujm 100% on his sentiment towards the justice system. Although it is better here than practically anywhere else.March 7, 2023 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #2171780
while it may be true that BD needed to follow a set of rules to carry out an execution
It is not correct that they had no recourse outside that set of rules
The Gemara and rishonim discuss jail and their ability to even go so far as tossing someone in a pit and not feeding himMarch 7, 2023 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #2171786
Mentch1 , right, bd had a mitzvah to do justice, they are not simply applying rules and not caring about the outcomeMarch 7, 2023 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #2171785
mentsch1: that’s may be if his guilt is certain but he got off on a technicality. Like, there was 100 witnesses to him murdering someone but no one warned him (or only one person warned him) in advance. Not if his guilt is in doubt, even if it appears more likely than not that he’s guilty.March 8, 2023 10:45 am at 10:45 am #2171864
I made an error
At least one rishon (rambam Sanhedrin 24:4) holds BD can kill outside the strict rules
An ex he brings is Shimon ben shetach and his execution in one day of an entire, witches coven
He says BD had the right to do what they wanted to either protect yidden or make an example of people. Not l’doros but as horas shah
As I said this guy is guilty
He’s admitted to numerous financial crimes
And a goy is chayiv misah for that
So why are you losing sleep over this?March 8, 2023 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #2171896
He killed his 22 year old son. Just consider it a late term abortion and all Republican’s should demand capital punishment.March 8, 2023 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #2171897
mentsch1: Beis Din executing outside the normal rules, that you refer to, can do so for any widespread societal issue. If there’s a lack of tznius problem they can execute every woman in public with uncovered knees or wearing pants.
Have you ever seen a Walmart selling live crickets as food? I have. You can advocate executing half or more of the gentiles in the country for violating the Sheva Mitzvos against eating a living creature, and thereby being chayiv misa.
And as the Rambam defines Christianity as Avoda Zora, you can advocate it for all Christians, even the ones with a phobia of eating crickets.
And how many Goyim aren’t guilty at some point of stealing a pen in school or in the office, anyways, even if they aren’t Christian and don’t eat crickets.March 8, 2023 1:31 pm at 1:31 pm #2171906takahmamashParticipant
Unless you are somehow related to this family, why do you care what happens? Does it somehow affect you or your life? You don’t have more important things to think or worry about?March 8, 2023 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #2171925lakewhutParticipant
We don’t have beyond reasonable doubt in halacha but he did admit to other crimes which could rack up years in jail.March 8, 2023 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #2171928
You are clearly unfamiliar with the CR.
Those people in Walmart are not being brought in front of a jury, seeking a pretext for conviction of a double homicide.
And is eating live crickets actually a problem of ever min hachai?March 8, 2023 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #2171964
UJM: Ever Min Hachai is not applicable to crickets (see Tosefta Maseches Trumos, Perek Tes). Also, crickets in Walmart are being sold as animal food (for frogs and other pets) not for humans. Also, see Harambam Hilchos Rotzeach Perek Daled, Halacha Ches where he brings the halacha of beis din killing someone indirectly so long as they establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.March 8, 2023 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #2172008
Rocky mountain oysters is ever min hachai and is served at Colorado Rockies baseball games.
It also has other names and is served in Canada too.March 9, 2023 4:13 am at 4:13 am #2172015
Incarceration is not a Torah concept
In Torah a murderer is sentenced to death. If there’s not enough proof (2 witnesses and warning) he goes free. A thief goes free if he returns the stolen goods. If he doesn’t return them, he is sold as a slave until shmitta.
Incarceration is an invention by the gentiles. It’s cruel and inhumane. God’s laws are compassionate.March 9, 2023 4:15 am at 4:15 am #2172016
Jackk: rmo are cow beitzim. There’s a whole section of shulchan aruch how to eat them. They are not eiver min hachai.March 9, 2023 4:16 am at 4:16 am #2172018ConcernedMemberParticipant
Joseph, what would you use to replace the jury of one’s peers system in America. A realistic proposal please. Just wondering.March 9, 2023 8:02 am at 8:02 am #2172081
Rif et al
Who believe that you can run a violent society based on strict halacha: please open a shulchan aruch (or an aruch hashulchan) to CM Siman 2
It’s not long
Read it and tell me that you still believe halacha :
1) forbids jail for violent offenders
2) requires eidim to put someone awayMarch 9, 2023 8:03 am at 8:03 am #2172075
Rmo are from live castrated bulls.March 9, 2023 8:04 am at 8:04 am #2172076
Your post is incredibly simplistic. You take an ideal system, created for a God fearing Jewish society and try to extrapolate to a violent goyish society.
I happen to agree that there have been many abuses in the American system. There are many problems. Examples include putting people who need help (ex drug users) into jail rather than treatment centers. The violence allowed in jail . Sentencing guidelines for non violent offenders, etc.
But what would you have us do with all the violent criminals out there who can’t be convicted under halacha?
Would you allow violent gang members back on the street Bc you can’t find two witnesses and proper hasra?
Just the opposite, the number one task of a government is to protect its rule-abiding citizens. Allowing violent criminals back on the street to harm its citizens is not only a violation of halacha (one of the Sheva mitzvos, dinim) but a great evil of the value system known as liberalism.
I might also point out, that the rabbanite in Israel uses the jail system.March 9, 2023 8:05 am at 8:05 am #2172078
ConcernedMember: A standing panel of judges who are educated in the law and of known high moral character would certainly be far better than 12 random people off the street.March 9, 2023 11:45 am at 11:45 am #2172144
The founding fathers were not dummies. There was logic behind the original idea of a jury system.
The problem is niskatnu hadoros. They never could’ve imagined the type of average citizen we have today.
Certainly, I agree that we need to do away with the jury system for civil litigation. The insane amount of awards given for frivolous lawsuits is outrageous.
However, there’s still logic to the jury system for criminal prosecution. It was always meant to be a checks and balance against prosecutorial overreach.
I heard a lecture once from a lawyer, that said there’s not a business owner that doesn’t violate three federal laws a day. Assuming that, a judge, could always find something by the book to convict you of. The jury might be more inclined to take extenuating circumstances into considerationMarch 9, 2023 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #2172497
There is an idea of kipa/jail for the cases where beis din is sure of the offense but does not have required eidus. I don’t know how prevalent this was. Also, don’t know what it continued into the times when death penalty was abolished. There are also exceptional cases – punishing mosrim/informaers – that endangered whole kahal. One process was for the kahal to appoint one shaliach who then deals with the methods and participants of the execution and hiding the body to isolate the kahal from government retaliation (not always successfully).March 9, 2023 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #2172498
My understanding that a mitzva for bnei Noach to have a system of justice is broad – they can have juries or kings or communist troikas – as long as the system performs justice. And this will depend on the times and population. Given the (relative) success of modern Democratic systems (comparing with non-modern and non-Democratic), we should support them and improve, where possible, just making sure we do not destroy it with the improvements.March 12, 2023 11:54 am at 11:54 am #2172829
I am interested to know where the Gemara discusses jail.
It goes without saying that the society needs to be protected from dangerous people, but it doesn’t give anyone the right to lock someone up for life in a tiny cell, and treat them like subhumans. Have you ever seen how they treat people on death row? It can take 20 years until the death sentence is carried out. You might argue that giving them an extra 20 years to live is a chesed, it’s made to exhaust all legal options. True, but why do the accused need to be abused in every single way during those 20 years? This is not justice, this is cruelty, this is a sin even according to Noahide laws.
The justice system in USA is a huge failure, because it’s a man made system. Moshe Margaretten has tried to change things, he was successful B”H, but it’s only a drop in the ocean.
Incarceration is the most cruel man made invention. It has no place in our Torah.March 12, 2023 11:57 am at 11:57 am #2172834
You asked if we should allow violent gang members back on the street.
The answer is “of course not”, but locking them up and treating them with cruelty is no solution either.
Have you ever seen the movie Trading Places? It shows that education and environment make all the difference. Give those gang members an education, give them love, they won’t be gang members anymore.
Psychopaths need to be locked up in a mental institution, they are born with a defected brain. Why does society consider them guilty?March 12, 2023 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #2173033
Actually I would never say “it’s a Chesed “ in terms of people on death row. I would kill them on the same day they are convicted. Bc that’s the halacha. Bc it is considered cruel to let them linger in limbo.
As for your second post I have no idea what you are talking about. It sounds like you want to rehabilitate gang bangers. It sounds noble. But it’s not. Noble is creating a society that has no tolerance for violent offenders and hunts them into extinction thereby setting an example for everyone.March 12, 2023 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #2173035
As for a source for imprisonment
Rambam rotzeach 2:5
Bais din is given the power to deal with people beyond the scope that is taught in makos
They can conclude a guilty verdict based on clear evidence (not necessarily eidim) and have the ability to give out many types of punishments
As I route above, I’m not a huge fan of imprisonment, and I recognize the evils
That said for violent offenders it’s either that or capital punishment
I don’t see any other solutionsMarch 12, 2023 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #2173037
Rif, please start with Sanhedrin 81 and Rambam Hilchos Rotzeach 4:8.
Please let us know what you learn from there.
From simple reading, it looks like the kippah is, yes, for lifelong sentence, but the conditions are such that we are not expecting him to collect social security. Not clear how often this was used, given scant references.March 19, 2023 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #2174890
AAQ, mentsch1: If you’re willing to throw a man in prison for life for stealing, since under the Sheva Mitzvos he’s chayiv an even worse punishment, are you also advocating a college kid who admitted he stole a $2 notebook from his school (or that he committed adultery) be thrown into prison for life (based on another more severe accusation he’s convicted of based on circumstantial evidence that doesn’t solidly prove guilt on that other count)?March 20, 2023 7:39 am at 7:39 am #2174945
You are reaching. You will notice that in all my posts on the subject I made reference to violent offenders.
The only time I implied jail for stealing is because people were arguing that there was not sufficient evidence to convict him of murder. On that, I made the point that if you didn’t feel that you had enough evidence for a murder conviction than add on the fact that he is for sure a big thief and you can assuage your conscience for tossing him in jail.
But to answer your question, no, I am not a fan of jail for nonviolent offenders.March 20, 2023 9:18 am at 9:18 am #2174984
Mentsch1: That’s no different than if a college student is accused of being a drug dealer based on non-solid circumstancial evidence, during the course which he admitted to stealing a pen, but was convicted perhaps wrongly of the drug dealing and sentenced to 25 years, and you’re okay with that since he stole a pen anyways.March 20, 2023 11:39 am at 11:39 am #2175051
After it having been proven that there is one murderer in the Murdaugh family, the Smith family is going to dig up Stephen Smith who died under very suspicious circumstances .
It was a “hit and run” with zero signs of a hit and run.
This time it is connected to Buster Murdaugh.March 20, 2023 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #2175121
First, I don’t agree with your examples
He didn’t steal a pen he stole millions
Second I don’t agree that the evidence isn’t enough to convict, the pics placed him at the scene of the crime at the time of the crime when he lied about being there
And lastly every jury has to deal with the different circumstances of each case and reach a decision. Every case is different.
If I had enough circumstantial evidence then I would take into account the total of the evidence including the character of the individual and past behavior
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