Sunday, July 23, 2006

Presumed Innocent?

In our justice system, each defendant is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I was wondering, do you think that is the case? Have we been trained over the years to believe that the police wouldn't arrest someone and the District Attorney would not prosecute someone unless that person was, in fact, guilty? I've heard people say stuff closely along those lines in the past, and I wonder if that is in fact the case. Do we say we presume them innocent yet assume they did it? Is it the duty of the defense attorney to dissuade against this predisposition? Or do we do a sufficient job of policing ourselves against any potential prejudices and give a fair trial?

Our system of justice was set up as a result of distrust of the government, to give the benefit of the doubt to the defendant. The government, since that time has established a powerful spin program to show that they are in fact doing good, and I don't doubt that many believe they are doing good. But do those efforts result in unfair trials for potential defendants?

I'm posing a question, not proposing a position. Feel free to weigh in on your own; I'd like to hear the opinions.

1 comment:

ec_for_life said...

Presumed In-on-it until proven otherwise. Most of my HS students are criminals. I have attended many of their trials. Never have I seen a trial where they were trying to prove guilt. It has inevitably been the defense trying to prove them innocent, while the prosecution states "the obvious". Sometimes, I am excited by that. Sometimes, it is saddening. This is not unlike watching a crime occur first hand.