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In Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why, Courtney Crimsen is asked during her testimony:

Courtney, some people might wonder, if you didn't tell the truth for so long, how do we know you're telling the truth now?

I could be misunderstanding the principles, but it seems like the principle of criterion of embarrassment or the principle of declaration against interest (Oh, wait, should this perhaps be Party admission? Statement against interest?) answers the question: Courtney Crimsen is incriminating herself, ruining her own reputation, exposing an embarrassing truth about herself, etc, and that is why her testimony is very likely true.

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Courtney Crimsen is incriminating herself, ruining her own reputation, exposing an embarrassing truth about herself, etc, and that is why her testimony is very likely true.

Admissions against interest lend weight to testimony they don't completely validate it.

Just because someone is apparently making admissions and statements that are, seemingly, selfless or embarrassing or incriminating doesn't automatically make them true.

The person making the statement might have deeper reasons or be guilty of even greater crimes than they are admitting and so would still lie.

All in all, it's about credibility.

Is her current testimony true...probably...but that's why we have juries...to decide.

  • I'm a dumbass. I forgot 'probably'. Thanks! ^-^ – BCLC May 25 '18 at 12:22
  • ETA: I put 'likely' at the end but not in the title. LOL. – BCLC May 26 '18 at 12:54
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The question has been answered but I wanted to append examples of how the proposed assumption is easily exploitable:

  • Mob boss on trial? Get an underling to testify that they did it. Mob boss walks.
  • The parent of a murderer doesn't want to see their child go to jail? They can claim they did it and basically exonerate their child.
  • I'm on trial for a felony? I'll testify that I was committing a misdemeaner on the other side of town. If you assume that this testimony (against my own interest) is true, they you must invariably also agree that I couldn't have been there to commit the murder.
  • Old or terminally ill people would be paid to testify that they committed the crime. They don't have long to live (and be punished) anyway, and this way they can leave money for their family.
  • Just because a witness testifies to something being true, doesn't mean that the testimony itself is enough to arrest and convict the witness.
  • Ok thanks, but I did change the wording of my question. Regarding those examples for 1 and 2, Courtney Crimsen doesn't have a relationship with the school in that way. What does she care? What's her motive to lie? Or do you mean that I should have argued instead statement against interest plus all that (no conflict of interest, no motive to lie unless somehow bribed by Bakers)? Re eg 3, how is it against interest with an obvious motive to lie? Re eg 4, gee how could this poor old man/woman possibly commit such crime? :| – BCLC Aug 20 '18 at 13:13
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    @BCLC eg 3, how is it against interest with an obvious motive to lie? I gave you a very simple example. Of course the defendant is nigh expected to lie, but that same scepticism doesn't extend to all other witnesses. – Flater Aug 20 '18 at 13:25
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    @BCLC: Re eg 4, gee how could this poor old man/woman possibly commit such crime? You're glossing over many things here: (1) Not all crimes require youth or strength of body (2) Who said they are weak? (3) Who said that they've been diagnosed for a long time? Some convictions only happens years after the actual crime was committed. There are plenty of terminal illnesses that can present (and conclude) in less time than it takes to have a trial. (4) "old" and "weak" are so incredibly subjective and prone to misinterpretation. Where do you draw the line? Are old people immune from the law? – Flater Aug 20 '18 at 13:27
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    @BCLC: In general, your comments/explanations rely on assuming what is likely. But the judicial system is a system that's built to ascertain what is reasonably proven. The only subjectivity allowed by legal counsil is during opening and closing statements, not during the actual trial (this is why movies often show closing statements, as they allow a lawyer to be passionate about their claim). – Flater Aug 20 '18 at 13:30
  • nice XD about the old or weak, concede. Thanks. LOL. Re 1 and 2, sooooo against interest plus the other stuff? – BCLC Aug 20 '18 at 13:41

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