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Witness for the Prosecution

At the end of the last century, a General of Puzzlania's army was court martialed. The accusation was brought forth that a Puzzlanian soldier had killed an unarmed civilian in an opposing army. The General was considered responsible for the conduct of all his commands.

The defense had built its case on the possibility that a Puzzlanian civilian vigilante had killed the civilian. But as it happens, during the war all soldiers (80% of the populace) wore red uniforms, and all civilians (the remaining 20%) wore green. A single witness of unquestionable character had positively confirmed that the killer was in red. Other facts emerged that eliminated the possibility of a fake uniform, or tricks of the light.

It looked quite bad for The General, until under cross examination it was revealed that the witness was somewhat color blind. Carefully controlled tests determined that the witness could correctly tell red and green apart with only 85% accuracy.

The General smiled smugly, knowing that under court martial rules, he could only be convicted for his officers' conduct if guilt was established with 95% certainty. The defense rested.

The prosecution's lawyer stepped up and addressed the Puzzlanian Jury. What was his response?


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