Judge Lewis: To Prove A Thing It Must Be Made Certain
The certainty of a thing arises only from making the thing certain.
Of all requirements of justice none is more sacred than proof. Upon proof and proof alone decisions are justified. Where there is no proof there is no justice.
Proof depends on establishing certainty. A thing made certain is proved.
Too many are willing to consider a thing made certain based solely on the reputation of a witness or the appearance of a party’s lawyer or the way an accused man fidgets with his hands. There is no certainty in such things.
To prove a thing it must be made certain, not merely probable or possible.
The credibility of a witness may certainly be relied upon in giving weight to what a witness says, but unless the point is proven by being made certain beyond doubt then proof has not been established, and justice has no place to stand. Justice stands solely on Truth.
Truth, on the other hand, is certain … or it is counterfeit truth that is not true at all.
The maxims of law put wise limits on the power of our courts. These limits are good things, for they protect innocence far more often than they fail. Too many good people suffer injury in our courts because a proof was not made certain at all but depended on an intentional accumulation of innuendo, unfounded accusation, or an emotional outpouring of rhetoric that goes beyond proof courts should require. Far too often passionate
expressions of hatred or contempt for an accused person result in convictions while no certainty was ever established. Upon such unfounded judgments rest the greatest crimes of mankind against mankind.
Only where a proof is made certain can it truly be called a proof, and only by proof can justice be established.
No citizen should be deprived of the benefits of this maxim, however low his station in life may be, however heinous his past deeds may seem, however ugly or distorted by life’s trials the countenance of such person may appear to us who are called to judge that person for a crime or injury to others. Regardless of our personal feelings, if a thing must be shown to be certain before just judgment can be rendered, then the certainty of the thing should only be considered when it is, indeed, made certain (testable, provable, true)
for there is no other way to make a thing certain.
To enter judgment on an uncertainty is to subvert and deny justice.