Here is a short quiz for readers.
Did this pitcher hit this batter intentionally? Caution: Don't vote until you read the entire entry!
Please keep in mind that we call an "unreliable" denial this very thing because in some circumstances, it just takes a few more questions to bring out a reliable denial.
Here is an example. The accusation: driver smoked pot last Thursday while transporting children. The union will not allow the private transport company to drug test him.
Q. Did you drive last Thursday under the influence of marijuana?
Q. A child has reported seeing you smoke marijuana early that day. How do you speak to this?
A. I would never smoke marijuana and drive.
This is an unreliable denial. The word "never" is not a substitute for "did not" and is more likely to be used in a question where one is asked if he "ever" had smoked marijuana.
The word "would" is future/conditional tense and is not connecting the denial to a past tense event. Notice that in the questioning, "Thursday" is a specific day.
Q. Okay, but he is saying you did and that another child also saw you and even described the "funny cigarette" to your supervisor.
A. I never smoked marijuana.
This is not a reliable denial. "Never" is an indiscriminate or non-specific answer that avoids "Thursday." "Never" is less stressful for liars. See Lance Armstrong. He "never" doped, nor did Marion Jones. Neither could ever say "I didn't", but both could say "I never." It is an interesting difference that should always be carefully noted.
Q. Is there anything else you want to say?
A. No. I didn't smoke pot last Thursday. I don't care what kids thought they saw.
Here is the reliable denial. It took a few questions to get it from him but now that he has given it, the odds that he did not smoke marijuana have increased greatly.
Q. Why would this kid say he saw you?
A. I don't know. Go ask him. I didn't smoke marijuana last Thursday.
Q. You said, "I didn't smoke marijuana last Thursday." Why should we believe you?
A. Because I told the truth. Can I go now?
He has now moved into statistically innocence. "I told the truth" is clear:
1. The pronoun "I"
2. The past tense "told"
3. the inclusion of "truth" regarding his denial.
He didn't smoke marijuana but buys cheap tobacco and rolls his own cigarettes. For some, it just takes a little time to get the denial, but it must come from the subject and now our own words.
Here is the article and the quote for you to analyze on your own. The Pitcher and this batter have an ugly history, and the batter has a reputation for being hit by pitches.