We are no longer ‘innocent until proven guilty’

Take a look around you. We are no longer “innocent until proven guilty.” Our media has created a “rush to judgment” mentality that, when combined with the modern day microwave mentality of ‘get it NOW,’ guilt is proclaimed and sentences are passed in the same time it takes one to go through the drive-through window of a fast food restaurant.

Repeat the Lies Often and People Think They’re Truth 

Just look at the mad rush to condemn Larry Craig. The twisted stories appearing on Television, in newspapers, and on the Internet have stated he pled guilty to soliciting homosexual sex in a public bathroom.

Um … no.  He pled guilty to ‘disorderly conduct.‘  We don’t KNOW whether or not the Senator was soliciting sex, because the cops acted too soon. In reality, the man broke no law at all!!!  BUT — between people rushing to judgment and other people twisting the truth, he’s been tried, convicted, and sentenced all within a matter of days.

NOTE: Before people rush to judgment and consider me two-faced because I said Craig should resign, please read about WHY I said he should resign. You’ll note it is not a rush to judgment.

Rush to Judgment (the status quo) Proves Deadly

Unfortunately, rush-to-judgment has become our status quo, and this mentality recently resulted in the murder of an innocent Connecticut man.  According to the report found at FoxNews.com, a woman experiencing post-partum depression told her husband that a neighbor had sexually molested their two-year old daughter. The woman’s husband, a LAWYER (aren’t they supposed to be familiar with this ‘innocent until proven guilty’ concept?) goes over and STABS THE NEIGHBOR man to death.

A subsequent investigation found NO evidence of the accusation.  (Gee — did the PPD have anything to do with accusation?)

Thankfully, the knife-wielding lawyer-murderer just got 12 years in prison —- and the family of the man who was murdered has filed a wrongful death suit against the wife for fabricating the molestation story.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty is SUPPOSED to be The Law …. BUT ….

Innocent until proven guilty is a nice idea.  It’s even supposed to be our law.  But frankly, I’ve lost faith that anyone lives by it anymore. I even have my personal experience as additional evidence:

Years ago, while serving in the US military, I was wrongly accused of a crime. Being a poor 20-something I had no money to hire my own lawyer, so I went to the base legal office for help. I will never forget the unfathomable conversation I overheard in that office:

– After explaining the situation to one of the lawyers, I was asked to have a seat.  The lawyer then walked into another lawyer’s office and said “There’s a guy out here who’s been accused of ______.”

The other lawyer — whom I never met and never saw, and who apparently did NOT know I could hear ever word he was saying — replied, “He must be guilty, or he wouldn’t be here to see us.”

To this day my blood boils even as I recall those words.

All it Takes is ONE False Accusation

All it takes now is one, simple, false accusation and one’s career can be totally ruined. 

As just one example that hits close to home, one person I know who words for a Fortune 500 company was accused of sexual harassment at his work and forced to attend classes and endure the subsequent whispers and humiliation.

Here’s the KICKER: The accuser told him privately she KNEW he did not sexually harass her. She told him she just didn’t like being around him, and she wasn’t going to back down from her accusation so he would be forced to stay away from her.

WTF ? ? ?

The Truth No Longer Matters

When he approached his HR department with this, they said it didn’t matter that he didn’t do anything. Just the mere fact that the woman felt uncomfortable around him was enough to warrant a sexual harassment case.

Turn it all upside, people: The USA is no longer a practicing constitutional republic. We are now seen as guilty as soon as an accusation is made.

It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of government we devolve into.

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4 Comments

Filed under Culture, Law, Life, Media, News, Politics, Work

4 responses to “We are no longer ‘innocent until proven guilty’

  1. flatcap

    You’re right on the mark across the board. Here’s another thing. Consider the phrase “suspected terrorist.” The adjective is “suspected,” the noun is “terrorist.” What the phrase literally means is “a terrorist of the suspected variety.” So it’s really signfying a person who’s already been determined to be a terrorist, without a formal judgment.

    Now who would want to stand up for the legal rights of a terrorist, even one of the suspected variety? No flag-waving, red-blooded American, that’s who!

    But think of how this sloppy thinking carries over from discussions of suspects no one would care to defend to our perception of John and Jane Doe. It’s easy to see how we could become conditioned to see someone like a peaceful protester as guilty until proven otherwise.

    “He must be guilty, otherwise he wouldn’t be here.” Indeed! It makes no sense until you remind yourself that it’s called law school, not justice school.

  2. I agree that a false accusation makes someone guilty. A co-worker claimed sexual harassment against me and he was believed. I asked for witnesses, a copy of the claim, & I also asked to face my accuser. All I was told was that it was said therefore I was guilty. No proof was seen or witness names were given. My 16+ years of employment went down the tubes. I tried to mention that stress and intimidation affects my medication and causes mood swings. Did my employer care that I had Epilepsy? Did they inquire why I was acting stragely? No. I was guilty and the case was closed. The HR department asked for the truth, but I guess the truth doesn’t matter. I tried to explain that I found a friend, a way to relieve my stress, someone I trusted, but this was misunderstood. I resigned because there was a rush of judgement and my words were twisted. I couldn’t take it. I ended up in the emergency room, but none of my co-workers inquired if I was OK. Am I angry? I was, but I’m more disappointed. I thought of these people like family. I loved them. The kicker was when my co-worker told me that he felt things went deeper and didn’t know what to do. Seems to me that he was scared and took the easy way out. Obviously his actions did not count. One-sided? I’ll say!

  3. Lave Sus Manos

    Wow – Patty === That just blows me away. Wow.

    It’s amazing, isn’t it? All it takes to ruin ANYONE’s career is to accuse them of sexual harassment, even if it’s not true.

    I remember reading last year about the drowning of a three-year old girl. A guy driving a truck saw her walking by herself and though he should stop and do something, but he didn’t when he realized people might accuse him of being a child molester. So — he just kept driving.

    Unfortunately, the girl fell into a pond and drown.

    Frankly, I relate to that guy. I fly a lot, but it’s to the point where I don’t even want to sit next to a young child on an airplane — I don’t need anyone falsely accusing me of anything.

    Like I said in the original post, I don’t want to think about what kind of society we’re devolving into.

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