Saturday, December 27, 2008


Evidence and Regulations

Evedently my HS civics class was an epic fail. They taught about how in a criminal case you can only be found guilty if the government provides evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And in civil law you need to have a preponderance of evidence to win a case.

But evidently in regulatory law (which includes parking violations according to my wife, who is a lawyer), the government doesn't need to provide evidence that the violation occured in order to defend itself if you challenge a fine? The burdon of proof is on the fined person or organization?

I'm all for government regulation, but this inversion of the burdon of proof is ridiculous and invites abuse (and they should have warned us about it in civics ... that there is an end-run around "innocent until proven guilty"): what's to stop cops from issuing parking tickets to people saying "your muni meter receipt was upside down" and then how do you fight that? Show a picture of a right-side up muni meter receipt? Which they could say was taken after you flipped the receipt or something like that?

At the very least, the Dems. should work to change this sorry situation: as I always say, if government were not so annoying (e.g. stupid traffic laws and blue laws), people would hate "gummint" less and be less likely to fall for GOP rhetoric about "gummint".

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