A Conversation for Joe Hill - Murderer or Martyr?

Burden of Proof

Post 1

Two Bit Trigger Pumping Moron

Joe Hill may not have felt that it wasn’t his job to state his case after his conviction, but after a conviction, a person looses the presumption of innocence. They're presumed guilty. The burden is on the convict to prove that something went wrong in the case.

In one of the quotes, he said that the state of Utah wouldn't let him tell his side of the story. Yet he had 22 months to give his account of events.

Burden of Proof

Post 2


Surely the burden of proof still rests with the state if the trial is demonstrably unfair? From the story given us by the author of the piece, it appears that the Judge took no notice of Hill's claims of unimpartiality of defence. If, as is argued, the defence were complicit in an attempt to unlawfully convict, then due process has not been observed, and the trial should be declared void.

Just put yourself in his position - he claimed to be innocent, yet his defence were (allegedly) inept in cross-examination, and when contested, the judge ruled him not competent to make that judgement. In the face of flagrant unfairness, would you have stated your case? or would you have accepted that whatever you said would not be sufficient to overturn a biased trial environment?

I must confess, given the (presumably slightly biased) article, I find myself on the side of Hill, in that I can all too easily believe that the anti-union, anti-left wing authorities at the time in Utah would have tried to convict a *troublemaker* like Hill on scant evidence. I wonder what the history of the USA would have been like had he been released - would he have been famous enough for folk singers to mention him half a century later? or would he have become a more famous laboUr leader and songwriter, sort of Billy Bragg meets Ken Livingstone (one lovechild I dont want to look at! not v. pretty smiley - smiley ) for you US types, perhaps Arlo Guthrie meets .... ooh I dont know, I don't know any US labor leaders, perhaps that's significant!

Burden of Proof

Post 3

Two Bit Trigger Pumping Moron

Yes, but you have to demonstrate that it was unfair. Once a person is convicted, he looses the presumption of innocence. When the appellate court reviews the case their starting point is that everything during the trial was on the fine. They will analyze the case in the light most favorable to the verdict.

He's going to have to prove there was a problem during his trial.

I haven't read the original entry since I wrote the first thing. I don't recall the facts of the case.

In his shoes, I would have objected, and preserved my right to appeal the matter.

smiley - handcuffs

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Burden of Proof

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