All Forums > General Discussion > Non-Sports > A Logic Problem
5/23/2013 11:07 AM
This is not meant to be snarky at all - I'm trying to crowdsource a solution.

The head of the IRS office under investigation made a statement in Congress that contained, in some form or another, the phrases: "I did not break the law.  I did nothing wrong."

She then pleaded the fifth, which is: "I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me."

Since you can't incriminate yourself if you didn't break the law and you did nothing wrong, didn't she commit perjury?  Doesn't one of those statements have to be false?
5/23/2013 11:22 AM

One would think but she's used to dealing with the convoluted tax laws so, I imagine, she knows you can do nothing wrong(in your mind) yet still get entrapped by the law.

Pleading the fifth prevents her from saying something stupid thus opening up a can of worms where she may have, in fact, done something wrong.    I don't like it but it's the smart move.

5/23/2013 12:32 PM
See the supreme court case Slochower v. Board of Higher Ed. of New York City. The court specifically rules out the assumption of perjury in such a case and confirms that an innocent person can take the 5th to avoid being caught in 'ambiguous circumstances'

' The privilege against self-incrimination would be reduced to a hollow mockery if its exercise could be taken as equivalent either to a confession of guilt or a conclusive presumption of perjury. As we pointed out in Ullmann, a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.'


Having said that the whole thing stinks worse than food left too long in the fridge.

5/23/2013 12:35 PM
Ask bistiza.  He understands logic better than anybody.
5/23/2013 12:36 PM
Posted by akira_hokuto on 5/23/2013 12:33:00 PM (view original):
See the supreme court case Slochower v. Board of Higher Ed. of New York City. The court specifically rules out the assumption of perjury in such a case and confirms that an innocent person can take the 5th to avoid being caught in 'ambiguous circumstances'

' The privilege against self-incrimination would be reduced to a hollow mockery if its exercise could be taken as equivalent either to a confession of guilt or a conclusive presumption of perjury. As we pointed out in Ullmann, a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.'


Having said that the whole thing stinks worse than food left too long in the fridge.

Thank you - I'll check that case out.

5/23/2013 12:36 PM
Posted by tecwrg on 5/23/2013 12:35:00 PM (view original):
Ask bistiza.  He understands logic better than anybody.
I almost lost my coffee through my nose while reading that.  Well played, sir.
5/23/2013 12:43 PM
Posted by examinerebb on 5/23/2013 12:36:00 PM (view original):
Posted by akira_hokuto on 5/23/2013 12:33:00 PM (view original):
See the supreme court case Slochower v. Board of Higher Ed. of New York City. The court specifically rules out the assumption of perjury in such a case and confirms that an innocent person can take the 5th to avoid being caught in 'ambiguous circumstances'

' The privilege against self-incrimination would be reduced to a hollow mockery if its exercise could be taken as equivalent either to a confession of guilt or a conclusive presumption of perjury. As we pointed out in Ullmann, a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.'


Having said that the whole thing stinks worse than food left too long in the fridge.

Thank you - I'll check that case out.

Yep, that covers it.  I was hoping there was no affirmative statement made before invoking the fifth, but Slochower basically said "I am not a Communist," then invoked the fifth on more specific questions.  Thanks again.
5/24/2013 10:58 AM
Ask bistiza.  He understands logic better than anybody.
 
I appreciate the acknowledgement of my ability to understand logic. While my understanding of logic is fairly good,  I do not understand it better than anyone.

THIS really said all you need to know, and quite well:
See the supreme court case Slochower v. Board of Higher Ed. of New York City. The court specifically rules out the assumption of perjury in such a case and confirms that an innocent person can take the 5th to avoid being caught in 'ambiguous circumstances'

' The privilege against self-incrimination would be reduced to a hollow mockery if its exercise could be taken as equivalent either to a confession of guilt or a conclusive presumption of perjury. As we pointed out in Ullmann, a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.'
5/24/2013 5:08 PM
Apparently he doesn't get irony, though.
5/25/2013 8:37 AM
NO
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