The Greek philosopher Socrates said "I know nothing." For that, he was declared the wisest of men.
In a sense, that is true for all of us. There is nothing we can know with absolute certainty. If you have seen the Matrix, or at least heard of the movie's premise, then you have been introduced to a variation on the philosophy illustrated by Rene Descartes who surmised that - for all he knew - he could be under the spell of an evil demon who controlled his life's perceptions as though he were dreaming. I wrote in "Reasonable Doubt - Part 6" that the prosecution was using a logic that could also be applied to an alien assault. We have numerous reasons to believe, however, that people are neither in the Matrix, under a demon's spell, or being horribly murdered by aliens in dark alleys.
But we cannot know for sure, and that is the very core of Descartes' "failure of perception." It is why Socrates said he knew nothing. What we presume we know is actually only the most probable course out of all possibility. Our "knowledge" is simply whatever is most certain to be true. For example, we are certain that 1+1=2. That reasonable certainty makes the difference between what is merely a possiblity and that which is probable.
The Matrix, demonic control, and aliens are all extreme examples, easy to dismiss because they are so fantastic. Let's try something far closer to this blog's purpose.
During the meeting between Kirstin Lobato and the two Metro homicide detectives, what did each side know with reasonable certainty?
When the two officers arrived at Kirstin Lobato's home, they introduced themselves as detectives from Metro homicide. After identifying themselves and their duty, Officer Thowsen said (from the transcripts of his testimony): "Immediately upon saying that I told her that we understood that she had been attacked in Las Vegas and had to defend herself."
Kirstin Lobato knew then that they were there to investigate a murder, because they were homicide detectives. She knew she defended herself from a rape in May, in Las Vegas. She knew she used a knife, but did not know how badly she hurt the man. She did know she sliced at his groin.
And she knew that these officers, who investigate killings and murder, were there to talk about that attack. The attack where she defended herself in Las Vegas.
The officer is there to investigate Duran Bailey's murder. They know he died on July 8th, approximately. They know his penis was severed. They know it happened in Las Vegas. They have heard about Kirstin talking about fending off a rapist in Vegas, a defense which involved her cutting at the man's penis.
Both the detectives and Kirstin know only enough to bring them into the same room. That two events share similarities, and therefore, both sides are reasonably sure they know they are talking about the same event, place...and time. The officers know a man died, and they pass that knowledge on to Kirstin (by being homicide detectives, if for no other reason). Now she knows a man died, too.
(1) she defended herself in Las Vegas
(+1) these are homicide detectives asking about that defense in Las Vegas
(=2) She killed the man.
It's what the two sides don't know that holds the key to understanding that this seemingly easy 1+1 does not, in fact, equal 2 so easily.
Neither of the two sides - Kirstin or the detectives - know the date of the attacks the other side is talking about, or where it happened, or what happened. Yet they already "know" that they are talking about the same attack. But as with Socrates, they know nothing. From this point on, numerous discrepencies are ignored...faults which show that they are not talking about the same attacks at all. Perception has tricked them into thinking they know something is true. Chalk one up for Descartes.
From Kirstin's taped statement that day comes the following information (italic phrases in quotes are taken from the record verbatim):
(1) The officers say at the beginning of the statement that they are talking about "...what happened a couple weeks ago in Las Vegas."
(+1) Kirstin says near the end of the statement that the attack "...has already been over a month ago."
(=?) Why did both ignore the time difference? If someone says to you something occurred "a couple weeks ago" do you automatically assume it must have happened exactly 14 days prior? No, because it is a common figure of speech. Kirstin uses the phrase herself later when talking about a drug test, and it is also incorrect - not exactly 14 days, but exactly 18 days. Yet when the officers said "a couple of weeks ago" it didn't matter, because Kirstin already "knew" (falsely) what attack they were talking about. The officers "knew" (falsely) as well. Having just gone through a long conversation about what happened - without any indication that someone realized they might just be talking about different events - it is likely that the officers dismissed her statement of time as (drum roll, please) a figure of speech.
A similar assumption of knowledge drowned out all of the following discrepencies:
(1) The officers ask what she did after she cut him in his penis
(+1) Kirstin tells them she left him curled up in the parking lot, crying, and drove away.
(=?) The reality is that Duran Bailey was brutally stabbed and beaten in an enclosure used for a dumpster. When Kirstin is telling of the attack, she mentions cutting the man's penis, then getting away from him as fast as possible. The true murder was far more sustained and intensive (see Reasonable Doubt - Part 6 for a list of multiple stabbing and bludgeoning injuries).
(1) The officers ask Kirstin if she used anything to cover him.
(+1) She tells them no, that she figured no one would notice anything that had transpired, since the only people around at the time were "a bunch of doped out people walking on the street, you know, outside there, none of them care." She just got in her car and drove away.
(=?) Duran Bailey was covered in garbage when he was found, including the large piece of cardboard with the bloody footprint on it (the footprint several sizes too large to be Kirstin Lobato's).
(1) The officers ask Kirstin to describe the vicinity of the attack, "...where did it first happen at, in the proximity of the parking lot?"
(+1) Kirstin describes the area. "...Boulder Highway, like from where the shopping center is across the street" and "like right around from the fountain, it's right in front there."
(=?) Duran Bailey wasn't killed anywhere near Boulder Highway. He was killed on Flamingo and Wynn Road (Arville). Boulder Highway runs North - South (sort of) on the East side of town. (Correction: 11/10/03, Thanks, Michelle) Where he was killed, there is no shopping center in sight. There is no fountain or other fountain-like construction in sight. There is a place like that in Las Vegas, though. Right where Kirstin Lobato was staying at the time, on the West side of Vegas.
These four items alone are taken from the taped statement. During the trial, even more discrepencies were revealed in the light of testimony. This was not the same attack, even though both sides presumed that they knew it was, and after that acted upon that "knowledge."
I know nothing. That includes whether Kirstin Lobato is innocent or guilty. But I have read the court transcripts. Prior to that, I had no real opinion about what I "knew" of this case. Now, I have a reasonable certainty. Reasonable doubt, and doubt that I am prepared to defend honestly and with evidence. As I am trying to illustrate with this blog, it is not just possible but extremely probable that Kirstin Blaise Lobato has been wrongly incarcerated. The taped statement is just the tip of that iceberg.
More to follow.