Re: Clinton's sexual adventures...

Keith Elis (
Fri, 30 Jan 1998 03:24:10 -0500

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin wrote:

> It depends on the forum. If it were a civil case, the burden on the
> plaintiff would be "preponderance of evidence" and so Clinton's
> defense would in effect have the same burden.

Entrapment is a criminal defense. Where in U.S. civil law do you find
such a thing?

"Preponderance of the evidence" is merely the burden of persuasion on
Clinton to establish the entrapment defense. This matters only insofar
as a jury instruction will issue concerning entrapment when the burden
is met. The prosecution must rebut.

Note that the prosecution (nearly) always has to prove its case beyond a
reasonable doubt. The defense need not assert its defenses beyond a
reasonable doubt. Sometimes merely "some evidence" suffices to switch
the burden of proof to the prosecution (this varies). Usually, the
defense must assert its defenses by a "preponderance of the evidence."


I'm talking only about *affirmative defenses* which are issues raised
first by the defense and which tend to prove the defendant's innocence.
Such defenses include insanity, entrapment, self-defense, etc. This does
not affect the fact that rebuttal of prosecutorial evidence need only
establish a reasonable doubt.

> In a criminal case, the burden on the prosecution is "beyond a
> reasonable doubt" so Clinton's defense merely needs to establish and
> sustain a reasonable doubt.

Don't conflate "defense" with "affirmative defense." The former is a
procedural event in which the defendant presents his case. The latter is
a particular issue raised first by the defense (and answered by the
prosecution) that tends to prove the defendants innocence.

Depending on what Clinton's "defense" is doing at a particular moment,
the burden of persuasion varies.

> There is ***NO*** possibility that "they
> were investigating me, I had to have her lie to defend myself" would
> establish a reasonable doubt of anything except perhaps his sanity;
> as far as the actual charges, it would be taken as a confession
> without remorse.

"[E]ven if the defendant denies one or more elements of the crime, he is
entitled to an entrapment instruction whenever there is sufficient
evidence from which a reasonable jury could find entrapment."_Mathews v.
U.S._ 485 U.S. 58, 108 S.Ct. 883, 99 L.Ed.2d 54 (1988) (Rhenquist, C.J.)

MY NOTE: This means that a defendant can deny that he committed the
crime, and then claim that the reason he committed it was because he was

> In an IMPEACHMENT case, the burden on the prosecution is to establish
> the case well enough that a set percentage of Congress has to buy it.
> There is no standard specified by which each individual member of
> Congress is supposed to decide if he/she buys it.

I'm talking only about criminal trials here. You're free to argue that a
President convicted of obstruction would not be impeached. I would
suggest without any evidence at all to back me up that even a Democratic
Congress would be hard-pressed to find a reason to keep a convict in
office. I may be wrong.


> Me, I want Clinton to lose a lot of credibility but NOT be impeached
> or resign.
> Because I don't believe that Vice President Gore can win the White
> House; but President Gore might win re-election.

Boat drinks,