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.
, absolute contradiction
, chucking out
, complete answer
, contrary assertion
, effective rejoinder
, head wind
, passing by
, putting away
, putting out
, standing against
, swimming upstream
, throwing out
, turning out