The Death Penalty and Catastrophic Global Warming

Just posted to Warren Meyer’s Coyote Blog. (Warren also runs the excellent Climate Sceptic blog)

Like you Warren, I too am both a global warming sceptic and oppose the death penalty. The reason I oppose the death penalty is that the police too often look for the evidence to support their case, but not for the evidence that contradicts this. As a result, here in Britain, some serious miscarriages of justice occurred. For instance in the 1970s the IRA brought their bombing campaign to Britain. 21 people died in Guilford and 10 people died in Birmingham. In both cases both groups of men convicted were entirely innocent. One group was convicted due to residue of a chemical used in the bomb being found on the hands of the accused. It was later explained by the chemical also being found on a new deck of playing cards.

However, the worst case was for the murder of the hugely popular TV presenter Jill Dando. It was a cold-blooded shooting, by someone who then calmly walked away and disappeared. Barry George, was convicted of her killing on the evidence that there was a speck of gun residue in a coat pocket; that he had tried to join a gun club; that he had multiple newspaper images of the accused; and had a picture of him masked and holding a gun. Turns out the guy had a low IQ, who had a stack of old newspapers in his room, had and old Polaroid of him fancy dress with a de-commissioned gun. Jill Dando was a celebrity who had appeared 6 times in that stack of papers. He had attended a day care centre a short while afterwards and appeared calm. Yet he was a man easily excited and incapable of calm planning. The coat was handled by police officers who had recently handled firearms and the speck of residue was miniscule.

The alternative explanation was this was a gangland hit. Jill Dando was mostly a newsreader, but whenever she fronted any other show, the ratings climbed. Once a month she fronted “CrimeWatch”, the first program in the world to recreate crime scenes to help solve crimes. It has scored some notable successes over the years.

We are all fallible, particularly those who are trying to confirm their answers. It is often those who are least able to defend themselves (due to low IQ, or race, or poverty) that get wrongly convicted.

The global warming hypothesis is similar. There is weak circumstantial evidence to suggest catastrophic warming, but with a superior Queens counsel (public prosecutor) a persuasive case can be made. But a similar defence counsel would have the case quashed early in the trial.

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1 Comment

  1. Stuart Fairney

     /  October 24, 2010

    A most interesting parallel if I may say so.

    Reply

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