[THE FOUNTAIN] Thunder of a Citizen

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[THE FOUNTAIN] Thunder of a Citizen

In 1964, a commonplace event occurred; a lady had her pocket picked in Los Angeles. A woman with a blond ponytail took the purse of a passerby and, witnesses said, fled in a yellow car driven by a black man with a moustache and beard.

After days of investigation, the police finally found a blonde-haired woman who had a boyfriend, a black man with moustache and beard driving a yellow car. There was no other evidence to tie the two to pickpocketing. Prosecutors, however, calculated the odds of a coincidence and indicted the two. According to the prosecution, 10 percent of cars are yellow, 25 percent of men wear moustaches,10 percent of women wear their hair in a ponytail and one third of women are blonde. They went on to calculate other odds concerning black men with beards and moustaches and that of a black and white couple in a car. The prosecution argued that the chances of all those coincidences coming together was about one in 12 million, and at the first trial, the jury agreed and found the woman guilty. But when the case went to the highest court in California, the lawyer for the accused laid out a more accurate probability calculation based on help from mathematicians. The lawyer argued that there was actually an 8-percent probability of those coincidences laid out by the prosecutor, making the odds that the woman was innocent not one in 12 million but about one in 12.5. Because it was highly possible that an innocent person was accused, her conviction was overturned on appeal.

Grand National Party President Lee Hoi-chang and an accompanying legislater bumped into two acquaintances on the subway and had an impromptu policy discussion. Then the ruling party said suspiciously that the incident was stage-managed, arguing that such probability is less than one in a billion. As a result of the political battle between the ruling and opposition parties, the citizens whom the lawmakers met on the subway held a press conference at the GNP office building Wednesday, insisting that "We cannot get over the feeling of being wrongfully accused for playing roles in a political show." The high school classmate of the lawmaker asked, "Do politicians ever care at all about the personality and reputation of ordinary citizens?" The university student whom Mr. Lee met a second time on the subway said, "Politicians should mind their own business - politics. Do your job for our people." Considering the situation in various lights, the MDP's argument of a stage-produced show is unreasonable. However, regardless of who has done wrong and who has done right, politicians should have been hurt that our politics has sunk so low. How many of our politicians can confidently defend themselves from the university student's thunder against them?

by Noh Jae-hyun

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