Closing arguments begin in E. Jean Carroll defamation case

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Closing arguments in the E. Jean Carroll defamation damages trial against Donald Trump are expected to begin on Friday. After that, the jury will determine how much money, if any, the former president must pay Carroll.

To be awarded money, Carroll has to prove that she is entitled to damages by a preponderance of the evidence, a standard used in civil cases that’s lower than what’s required in criminal trials.

That evidence standard was used in Carroll’s civil defamation case last year, in which a jury found that Carroll proved Trump had sexually abused and defamed her by a preponderance of the evidence, but that she did not prove Trump had raped her, as that crime is narrowly defined by New York’s criminal laws. Trump has appealed the verdict.

Carroll’s case last year, in which she was awarded $5 million for battery and defamation, focused on comments Trump made about Carroll in 2022. The current case is about Trump’s statements when he was president in 2019. Carroll is seeking over $10 million in damages.

After the jury was sworn in, Judge Lewis Kaplan compared the preponderance standard in the case to a scale.

“What a preponderance of the evidence means is that the plaintiff has to produce evidence which, considered in light of all of the facts, leads you to believe that what the plaintiff claims is more likely correct or true than not,” Kaplan said.
“To put it differently, if you were to put the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s evidence on opposite sides of metaphorical scales, the plaintiff has the burden to make the scales tip, even if only slightly, in the plaintiff’s favor,” the judge continued. “If they tip slightly for the plaintiff or heavily for the plaintiff, then the plaintiff has prevailed by a preponderance of the evidence. If they tip even slightly for the defendant or heavily for the defendant, then the defendant prevails on that issue.”

Sumber: www.cnn.com

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