Written by anthonyrosania

Saturday, 25 September 2010

image for Shawn Chapman Holley's Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Argument Carries the Day

Lindsay Lohan's attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley has carried the day, having the Order of Hon. Elden Fox's Order Of Detain for Failure to Meet Conditions of Probation vacated.

Look, Mom...

... Law School's paying off in spades!

In the instant case, the Court appears to have improperly applied a cum hoc ergo propter hoc standard to evidence supplied to the Court by the Los Angeles Prosecutor's Office (hereinafter at times referred to as "Prosecutor").

Indeed, the Court relied exclusively on the proffering of certain Results of Urinalysis of Defendant, Lindsay Lohan", which state in pertinent part:

"... In test # 2242, Defendant Lohan's urinalysis indicates a positive blood-serum level of a controlled dangerous substance (hereinafter at times referred to as "CDS"). To wit: Cocaine."

"... In test #2290, Defendant Lohan's urinalysis indicates a positive blood-serum level of a controlled dangerous substance: To wit: racemic amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, racemic amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharide and dextroamphetamine sulfate (Adderall)."

Despite the fact that there are a number of ways that a person could test positive for such controlled substances, the Court, without elliciting substantiating testimony from any witness for the State, nor allowing Defendant Lohan to proffer any rebutting testimony, the Court concluded that these positive tests must mean that Defendant Lohan self-ingested a CDS, in violation of the terms and conditions of her probation, as set forth by another Judge.

This cum hoc ergo propter hoc finding of fact is improper, and, as conveyed upon Defendant Lohan, deprived her of her liberty, improperly so.

The Court has often taken judicial notice of the inappropriateness of an cum hoc ergo propter hoc argument, finding time and again that "[c]orrelation does not imply causation" State of New Jersey v. Rosania, 1 NJ Super 124, (1967). used to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other, even though "correlation is necessary for causation, and can indicate possible causes or areas for further investigation." Rosania, infra at 129.

The opposite belief, that correlation proves causation, is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are claimed to have a cause-and-effect relationship.

As the United States Supreme Court found in Lambropoulos v. Phieszher, numerous epidemiological studies showed that women who were taking combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also had a lower-than-average incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), leading doctors to propose that HRT was protective against CHD. But randomized controlled trials showed that HRT caused a small but statistically significant increase in risk of CHD. Re-analysis of the data from the epidemiological studies showed that women undertaking HRT were more likely to be from higher socio-economic groups, with better than average diet and exercise regimes. The use of HRT and decreased incidence of coronary heart disease were coincident effects of a common cause, rather than cause and effect as had been supposed.

The same fallacious reasoning can conclude that Defendant Lohan's positive tests for CDS must be caused by Defendant's violation(s) of ther terms of her probation. This is improper.

Until the Court hears testimony supporting the Prosecutor's claim that this violation did occur -- for which they, and they alone, have the burden of proving by a clear preponderance of the evidence--, and until the Court gives Defendant the opportunity to confront her accusers, as is her right per the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Defendant must be granted a Writ of Habeus Corpus, and released forthwith.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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