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CONTRADICTION. The incompatibility, contrariety, and evident opposition of two ideas, which are the subject of one and the same proposition.
     2. In general, when a party accused of a crime contradicts himself, it is presumed he does so because he is guilty for truth does not contradict itself, and is always consistent, whereas falsehood is in general inconsistent and the truth of some known facts will contradict the falsehood of those which are falsely alleged to be true. But there must still be much caution used by the judge, as there may be sometimes apparent contradictions which arise either from the timidity, the ignorance, or the inability of the party to explain himself, when in fact he tells the truth.
    3. When a witness contradicts himself as to something which is important in the case, his testimony will be much weakened, or it may be entirely discredited and when he relates a story of facts which he alleges passed only in his presence, and he is contradicted as to other facts which are known to others, his credit will be much impaired.
     4. When two witnesses, or other persons, state things directly opposed to each other, it is the duty of the judge or jury to reconcile these apparent contradictions; but when this cannot be done, the more improbable statement must be rejected; or, if both are entitled to the same credit, then the matter is as if no proof had been given. See Circumstances.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
'We are looking are certain documents and contradictions and we think it's best to decide the next course of action after looking at the transcript.
During the course of proceedings, the bench noted, as in earlier judgment, numerous contradictions in statements of witnesses which clearly reflected that the case was built on lies.
There's a contradiction. The public has properly said in the Constitution that every Kenyan charged or not charged is innocent until proved guilty.
He believed that if contradictions are tackled, then it can help improve the economy and society otherwise it sets the path for revolution by sharpening the divide in the society.
Changes in society are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in society, that is, the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the contradiction between classes and the contradiction between the old and the new', it is the development of these contradictions that pushes society forward and gives the impetus for the supersession of the old society by the new.
The second book, published a few years ago and briefly noted in JAPE at that time, is an excellent companion, describing the multiple, interacting contradictions in the economic system that generate recurrent class conflicts, systemic instability and economic, environmental and social crises.
The government had sent the bill for acceptance to the Council of Islamic Ideology, which is a constitutional body that advises the legislature whether or not a law is repugnant or in contradiction with the laws of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.
In part, that's because Trump's contradictions are loud and confident.
Paul Smith & The Intimations have announced their debut single will be Break Me Down, taken off forthcoming album Contradictions and the tour dates will go on sale on July 10.
Contradictions are pervasive in low carbon interventions.
Focusing on contradiction, Weiguang analyzes Chinese society and politics from such perspectives as contradictions among the people constituting the primary kind of contradictions of human relations in Chinese society at the present stage, basic principles of and methods for the current handling of contradictions among the people in the new era, major changes in China's working class in the new era, and correctly handling contradictions among the people to build a harmonious socialist society.
The Great Recession and the Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism