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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 ?
Zarif also stressed that despite "contradictory" statements made by the US officials, Iran has always been a "responsible and peace seeking" nation.
Garcia said that she would have wanted to ask Lacanilao to explain the contradictory statements, but the panel was informed that the lawyer has already left the hall of the Congress.
Following the writ, the HC had issued a ruling asking the authorities concerned to explain why the special committee of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College will not be declared illegal and contradictory to the constitution.
There cannot be a coalition between parties with contradictory platforms and the Albanians cannot be revoked their right to vote.
The Brazilian finance ministry described Monday's decision as "inconsistent with the realities of the economy" and "contradictory" in the face of the country's economic stability.
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Contradictory reports are pouring on Iraqi president Jalal Talabani's health amid political turmoil that pushing Talabani's health in their political wrangling and deals.
Contradictory Woolf: Selected Papers from the Twenty-First Annual International Conference of Virginia Woolf.
Moreover, such statements represent a flagrant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom which is contradictory to the principles of mutual respect, good neighboring.
Turning to the issue pertaining to the presence of Al-Qaeda members in Orsal/Baalbeck, Harb said the view in this concern was contradictory among concernmed ministers, since the Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn affirmed Al-Qaeda's presence and the Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel denied it.
Nadella (religion, Adrian College, Michigan) argues that multiple and disparate voices inhabiting the narrative world of the gospel offer divergent and occasionally contradictory perspectives on such prominent themes as wealth and poverty, the role of women, eschatology, the importance of doing vis-a-vis hearing, and the identity of Jesus.