History Main / ConvictionByContradiction

12th Sep '17 6:42:06 AM Derkhan
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* In ''Literature/TerraIgnota'', Papadelias, the cop who brought Mycroft in after Mycroft's two-week-long murder rampage, has known for years that there is something off about Mycroft's case, based mostly on how Mycroft seemed to be in two places at the same time while commiting his crimes. Every time they run into each other, he quizzes Mycroft on the timeline, trying to find discrepancies. Mycroft always has a correct and plausible answer. [[spoiler:Papadelias is right, though. Mycroft is hiding his lover and partner in crime Saladin, who commited half the murders.]]
21st Jul '17 12:35:56 AM gophergiggles
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* An episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' ("The Tyrant") has House confront Wilson's neighbor, an amputee who claims to have lost his arm in Vietnam. House deduces from various clues that the man is a veteran of the ''Canadian'' Army, and calls him out as a fraud—only to be told that although Canada didn't take part in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, they did send troops to Vietnam to enforce the Paris Peace Accords, which is how he lost his arm in a landmine incident.

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* An episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' ("The Tyrant") has House confront Wilson's neighbor, an amputee who claims to have lost his arm in Vietnam. House deduces from various clues that the man is a veteran of the ''Canadian'' Army, and calls him out as a fraud—only to be told that although Canada didn't take part in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, they did send troops to Vietnam to enforce the Paris Peace Accords, which is how he lost his arm in a landmine incident. It's also a straight example as Canadian troops ''did'' fight in Vietnam: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_and_the_Vietnam_War#Canadians_in_the_U.S._military 30,000 soldiers in all]].
21st Jul '17 12:30:35 AM gophergiggles
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* In ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'', Archie Hicox, an Englishman pretending to be a German, is doing a good job of staying undercover amongst Germans... until, rather suddenly, the Gestapo officer he's been talking with says that he's given himself away. That's because Hicox, when ordering a round of drinks, uses the British hand gesture for "three" (index, middle, and ring fingers raised) instead of the German one (thumb, index, and middle fingers raised). German audiences naturally pick up on it more easily (and it's explained later for other audiences), aided as well by the fact that Hellstrom visibly reacts to it. It helps that Hellstrom was already suspicious of Hicox, such as [[OohMeAccentsSlipping his difficulty at a German accent]] and his hostility to Hellstrom's presence and insisting he leave.

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* In ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'', Archie Hicox, an Englishman pretending to be a German, is doing a good job of staying undercover amongst Germans... until, rather suddenly, the Gestapo officer he's been talking with says that he's given himself away. That's because Hicox, when ordering a round of drinks, uses the British hand gesture for "three" (index, middle, and ring fingers raised) instead of the German one (thumb, index, and middle fingers raised). German audiences naturally pick up on it more easily (and it's explained later for other audiences), aided as well by the fact that Hellstrom visibly reacts to it. It helps that Hellstrom was already suspicious of Hicox, such as [[OohMeAccentsSlipping his difficulty at a German accent]] and accent]], his hostility to Hellstrom's presence and insisting he leave.leave, and that the Basterds have pulled the DressingAsTheEnemy stunt enough times already to make any German [[JustifiedTrope leap at even the least suspicious of behavior]].
9th Apr '17 8:32:53 PM BreadBull
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** In one, Inspector Winters asks for bicarbonate of soda for an upset stomach while in a bakery. The baker says she doesn't have any; this leads the detective to deduce that the bakery must be a front for smuggling, since bicarbonate of soda is baking soda and no real bakery would be without it. Except there's the possibility that the baker was unfamiliar with an antiquated term for baking soda (even more egregious today than when it was originally written: many modern ''chemists'' might find the term unfamiliar, since the proper scientific terminology has been "sodium hydrogen carbonate" for ''decades'', and was "sodium bicarbonate" rather than "bicarbonate of soda" for some time before that).

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** In one, Inspector Winters asks for bicarbonate of soda for an upset stomach while in a bakery. The baker says she doesn't have any; this leads the detective to deduce that the bakery must be a front for smuggling, since bicarbonate of soda is baking soda and no real bakery would be without it. Except there's the possibility that the baker was unfamiliar with an antiquated term for baking soda (even more egregious today than when it was originally written: many modern ''chemists'' might find the term unfamiliar, since the proper scientific terminology has been "sodium hydrogen carbonate" for ''decades'', and was "sodium bicarbonate" rather than "bicarbonate of soda" for some time before that). And then there's the possibility they ran out of baking soda using it to, you know, bake.
9th Apr '17 8:30:50 PM BreadBull
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** Sometimes, Haledjian completely disregards sheer stupidity as an answer. In one mystery, he was on his way to a BBQ when the host was found murdered. His neighbor came over, saying he heard his wife scream in horror, and during the interrogation, spotted the wife's pearl earring in the grill and reached his hand in to retrieve it. The detective told him that he obviously planted the earring because, despite having just arrived, he knew that the coals were cool enough to plunge his hand into them. Apart from the fact that coal visibly whitens when heated and that people can sense heat when standing next to hot coals, does he ever consider the fact that the guy could have just been an idiot?

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** Sometimes, Haledjian completely disregards [[HanlonsRazor sheer stupidity as an answer.answer]]. In one mystery, he was on his way to a BBQ when the host was found murdered. His neighbor came over, saying he heard his wife scream in horror, and during the interrogation, spotted the wife's pearl earring in the grill and reached his hand in to retrieve it. The detective told him that he obviously planted the earring because, despite having just arrived, he knew that the coals were cool enough to plunge his hand into them. Apart from the fact that coal visibly whitens when heated and that people can sense heat when standing next to hot coals, does he ever consider the fact that the guy could have just been an idiot?
16th Mar '17 12:43:22 AM marcoasalazarm
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** Parodied in a random Duff poster that appears on an episode where Homer and Barney visited the local plant, which (having been done during UsefulNotes/TheColdWar) had someone ''[[DisproportionateRetribution accused of being a Communist spy and arrested]]'' simply because he didn't liked Duff.

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** Parodied in a random Duff poster that appears on an episode where Homer and Barney visited the local plant, which (having been done during UsefulNotes/TheColdWar) The UsefulNotes/ColdWar) had someone ''[[DisproportionateRetribution accused of being a Communist spy and arrested]]'' simply because he didn't liked Duff.
16th Mar '17 12:41:28 AM marcoasalazarm
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** Parodied in a random Duff poster that appears on an episode where Homer and Barney visited the local plant, which (having been done during TheColdWar) had someone ''accused of being a Communist spy and arrested'' simply because he didn't liked Duff.

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** Parodied in a random Duff poster that appears on an episode where Homer and Barney visited the local plant, which (having been done during TheColdWar) UsefulNotes/TheColdWar) had someone ''accused ''[[DisproportionateRetribution accused of being a Communist spy and arrested'' arrested]]'' simply because he didn't liked Duff.
5th Mar '17 11:05:47 PM TheGreatUnknown
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* The perp tells someone he's hidden a $2 note between an odd and even page of a book that are normally on opposite sides of a leaf if the book is read left to right. It might be possible that the book had a typo, breaks the tradition, had its pages printed out of order, or the perp simply misremembered the book pages.

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* The perp tells someone he's hidden a $2 note bill between an odd and even page of a book that are normally on opposite sides of a leaf if the book is read left to right. It might be possible that the book had a typo, breaks the tradition, had its pages printed out of order, or the perp simply misremembered the book pages.
24th Feb '17 6:30:25 AM tromag
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* Played with in ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' – a murder victim in Guantanamo Bay's military base in Cuba had supposedly received long-awaited transfer orders for a flight early the next morning, but had not packed by the time of his murder later that night nor called any friends or family back home to make preparations. When this is mentioned during a witness examination with the man issuing the transfer, intended to trick the witness into self-incrimination, the witness counters that he couldn't possibly explain the dead man's motives, not being the man in question. However, the contradiction is enough to irritate the witness and put him on the defensive—[[XanatosGambit just]] [[ZigzaggingTrope as planned.]]

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* Played with in ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' – a murder victim in Guantanamo Bay's military base in Cuba had supposedly received long-awaited transfer orders for a flight early the next morning, but had not packed by the time of his murder later that night nor called any friends or family back home to make preparations. When his commander is asked about this is mentioned during a witness examination with the man issuing the transfer, intended to trick the witness into self-incrimination, the witness counters at trial, he quickly points out that there could be any number of explanations for those facts (maybe he couldn't possibly liked to pack in the morning), and he can't be expected to explain the dead man's motives, not being the man in question.them. However, the contradiction is enough to irritate the witness and put him on the defensive—[[XanatosGambit just]] [[ZigzaggingTrope as planned.]]
9th Feb '17 12:29:15 PM Gosicrystal
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* Averted in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series. The core mechanic of the game is to find and expose contradictions in witness testimony by presenting evidence. However, at no point is ''anyone'' ever proved guilty by a single contradiction alone. Instead, the objective is to expose a contradiction, which will then be covered up by a new, weaker story ("No! Wait! I was mistaken! It happened this way!") which can also be contradicted, [[PullTheThread and so on and so forth until the actual perpetrator's guilt is confirmed]]. The end result is that Phoenix and Apollo always need to present a pretty extensive case and put forth quite a bit of evidence before the court even considers believing them.
** This is straight said to be an impossible act in the fourth game, when Apollo is accusing someone of being the real killer. Even though he's presented a pretty convincing case with quite a bit of evidence to back it up, and pointed out a load of contradictions in the witness's testimony, he's still unable to get them for the murder, due to not having any evidence that actually links them directly to the crime. Apollo does eventually get him by [[spoiler:forcing a confession out of them.]]
** Phoenix is also a defense attorney and his client is always the one on trial, so pointing out the contradictions is actually perfectly valid when the point is to create doubt in the testimony of those accusing your client. Also, it's suggested that the real perpetrators have to undergo another trial at a later date, so even when Phoenix exposes evidence against them they aren't necessarily convicted immediately. However, this isn't to state that the games don't use spurious evidence to advance the cases sometimes, nor that contradictions in testimony aren't sometimes given more weight as points of suspicion than they probably should be.


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* Averted in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series. The core mechanic of the game is to find and expose contradictions in witness testimony by presenting evidence. However, at no point is ''anyone'' ever proved guilty by a single contradiction alone. Instead, the objective is to expose a contradiction, which will then be covered up by a new, weaker story ("No! Wait! I was mistaken! It happened this way!") which can also be contradicted, [[PullTheThread and so on and so forth until the actual perpetrator's guilt is confirmed]]. The end result is that [[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney Phoenix]], [[VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney Apollo]] and [[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Athena]] always need to present a pretty extensive case and put forth quite a bit of evidence before the court even considers believing them. And even then, sometimes evidence will not be enough to convict a culprit, which sometimes requires getting a confession out of them (e.g. in Apollo's game, third case). Also, it's suggested that the real perpetrators have to undergo another trial at a later date, so even when Phoenix exposes evidence against them they aren't necessarily convicted immediately. Other times, though, pointing out the contradictions is actually perfectly valid when the point is to create doubt in the testimony of those accusing your client.
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