Guilt And Innocence : Changing Minds

Let me relay a story that was in the news over the last week, on the off chance you haven’t heard it already.  I’m going to mention one fact at a time.

  1. A man walked free from court yesterday after a jury took just 24 minutes to find him innocent of the charges levelled against him.
  2. Those charges? He was accused of committing grievous bodily harm after shooting the accuser.
  3. The incident took place at 2am.  It was dark and the defendant couldn’t see the “victim”.
  4. The “victim” was on the defendant’s land in a slow moving vehicle which had no lights on, despite the dark.
  5. The defendant fired two shots.  The first hit the victim in the foot.  The second was fired above the vehicle to scare it off and tell the victim not to come back.
  6. The first shot was fired because the defendant feared the victim was driving at him.
  7. The defendant is 83 years old and lives on his farm with his wife.  The victim was 44 and his partner was 40.
  8. The victim and his partner were known criminals, known for rural robbery.

How many times did you change your mind about what was fair and what wasn’t based on those facts?  A 24 minute discharge suggests innocence, but when you hear GBH there’s a doubt there.  At 2am, shooting blindly, that suggests recklessness, but the vehicle evidence suggests that the victim was up to no good.  However, why not just fire two warning shots rather than one at the victim?  Well the answer to that one is self-defence.  And then, when you hear about all the parties involved, your mind is probably made up.

The story is about Mr Hugill, of Wilberfoss, East Yorkshire.

I thought it was interesting.  I have issues around self-defence anyway, because I have difficulty with the thought that the Law should protect the civil liberties of those who actively seek to infringe the liberties of others.  That just doesn’t sit well with me when read alongside a theory of law and punishment that it keeps the balance.

The bit that was most interesting, though, was how it’s possible to get different ideas depending on what you see when what you see might not be everything.

Do you remember when you where seven?
And the only thing that you wanted to do
Was show your mum that you could play the piano
Ten years have passed
And the one thing that lasts
Is that same old song that we played along and made my mumma cry
I miss those days and I miss those ways
When I got lost in fantasies
In a cartoon land of mysteries
In a place you won’t grow old in a place you won’t feel cold and I’ll sing
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Seems I’m lost in my reflection
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Find a star for my direction
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
For the little girl inside who won’t just hide
Don’t let me see mistakes and lies
Let me keep my faith and innocent eyes
My innocent eyes
Do you remember when you were fifteen?
And the kids at school called you a fool ’cause you took the chance to dream
In the time that’s past and the one thing that lasts
Is that same old song that we played along and made my daddy cry
I miss those days and I miss those ways
When I got lost in fantasies
In a cartoon land of mysteries
In a place you won’t grow old in a place you won’t feel cold and I’ll sing
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Seems I’m lost in my reflection
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Find a star for my direction
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
For the little girl inside who won’t just hide
Don’t let me see mistakes and lies
Let me keep my faith and innocent eyes
My innocent eyes
Under my feeling under my skin
Under the thoughts from within
Learning the subtext
Of the mind
See creation how where defined
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Seems I’m lost in my reflection
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
Find a star for my direction
Da da da da da da da da da da da da
For the little girl inside who won’t just hide
Don’t let me see mistakes and lies
Let me keep my faith and innocent eyes
My innocent eyes
Innocent Eyes by Delta Goodrem

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