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Unpublished Paper
EVIDENCE AND THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH IN THE LAW
ExpressO (2014)
  • Jeffery L Johnson, Eastern Oregon University
Abstract

Lawyers should be much more concerned with the concepts of truth and evidence. The entire profession depends on truth. It is what police detectives, District Attorneys, juries, trial judges, appellate judges, and academic lawyers offering interpretive theories, are all concerned with. But, since truth is seldom apparent on its sleeve, these legal actors are equally dependent on evidence as the only(?) reliable(?) means of determining truth. I defend a commonsensical theory of [good] evidence. I argue that this view, inference to the best explanation, captures most, if not all, of a lawyer’s appeal to evidence. It is far from clear, however, that a single unifying concept of legal truth survives as the unequivocal goal of the trial jury’s use of evidence to determine guilt or innocence as contrasted with the academic lawyer’s use of evidence to defend a positivist theory of the nature of law.

Keywords
  • evidence,
  • legal truth,
  • inference to the best explanation
Publication Date
March 5, 2014
Citation Information
Jeffery L Johnson. "EVIDENCE AND THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH IN THE LAW" ExpressO (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeffery_johnson/4/