Friday, September 14, 2007

Another example of how stupid Americans are

A new survey shows that less than one-third of the American populace is aware that rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court cannot be appealed to another court.

Such ignorance reminds me of an episode of 12 or 15 years ago when I was in a newsroom and overheard one side of a phone conversation between a young reporter and an attorney in the local prosecutor's office.

The attorney apparently had called with news that a defendant in a criminal trial had been acquitted of the charge against him. The reporter asked if prosecutors planned to appeal the acquittal to a higher court. There was a pause before the reporter asked the attorney to explain something he apparently had just mentioned, something about a legal doctrine known as "double jeopardy."

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