This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
I believe the intent is to not build logic based on the assert statement that would not be available when the compile is done turning off assertions. One example I can think of is to base some logic that wraps an assert statement in an if statement. Bottom line, the assert should be used for debugging purposes, not to control logic.