Presumed Innocent

Scales of Justice

Scales of Justice

Innocent Until Proven Guilty; What It Really Means

A legal principle

The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” is a widely misunderstood legal phrase, and should read presumed innocent. It is a principle of law, a legal instrument that should ensure fair trials. The police, the lawyers, judges, and the jury should regard the accused as innocent and put the evidence to the test.

It is the prosecution and investigators who are on trial because they should never present a case to court until they have gathered irrefutable evidence. Irrefutable that is to the best of their knowledge. It is the prosecution which has to prove guilt and not the accused to prove innocence.

So why do I say it is widely misunderstood? It is widely misunderstood and often deliberately ‘misunderstood,’ by critics of the media (particularly new media), barrack room lawyers and criminal apologists. It consistently comes up in criticism of articles on this blog, but this blog is not a court of law, this blog is not part of the prosecution, this blog investigates and reports facts, the same facts the mainstream media (MSM) publishes. Where the evidence is overwhelming, I may go further and ignore the MSM self-imposed rules. Sometimes, as the Editor, I may give my opinion, but my opinion is expressed mainly in the comments, not the articles.

Some scenarios

I will now illustrate this argument with a couple of scenarios, and for simplicity, I will keep the suspects masculine.

Imagine waking up at 3 am, and there is a stranger in your bedroom, he is putting your valuables into a sack. You tackle him and knock him out and call the police. Is he a burglar or is he not a burglar? YES! He is a burglar; he is not innocent.

The second scenario. A neighbour enters your home and rapes your wife. You are not there, but she recognises him and tells you who it was. Your wife is an honest woman and does not tell lies.The police are called and make an arrest. Is your neighbour innocent or guilty? GUILTY! He is guilty of rape; he is not in reality innocent.

You know the answers

The answer to both those scenarios is guilty! You see the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty” is not fact, it is a presumption. The victims know who the guilty are, witnesses also know who is guilty, and the perpetrator knows he is guilty.

The accused must be presumed innocent so that the investigators and prosecutors gather evidence and present that evidence to the court and prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is indeed guilty of the offense. That is the basis of a fair trial.

The presumption of innocence does apply to news reporting as well of course. However, what if a witness writes the report or a video shows the incident in indisputable detail? What if documents are available that proves guilt? Is it wrong in those circumstances to report the accused as guilty? I don’t think so, providing that the report does not prejudice the fairness of the trial.

How many innocents could have been saved?

If the Internet had been available 50-years ago, many victims of Jimmy Savile, the MP Cyril Smith, ex-Prime Minister Edward Heath and ‘Lord’ Alistair McAlpine would have been saved from their abuse. It is why I interpret the rules less strictly than the MSM; they can’t publish a word without a lawyer passes it. Except, of course, they are willing to overstep the mark when hacking a dead girl’s mobile phone.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty; What It Really Means

One thought on “Presumed Innocent

  1. Every time I look for your blog I get an error message. However just thought I’d point out that the Pakistani heritage convicted abusers have their ages listed as 30, 24 And 21. How on earth can these men be guilty of committing abuse dating back to 1997? They would have been 13, 7 and 4 years of age in 1997. How on earth are we expected to believe these men are solely responsible for these crimes? Why haven’t the abusers operating in 1997 been pursued?

    Are writers of news reports on this story completely thick or just out of touch with reality? We, as readers, are being treated with disdain. What is being done to bring the historical abusers to trial? These 5 men were children when the abuse started – but apparently yet again the historical abusers are being protected by a red herring story. Do they think we can’t do simple arithmetic? Apparently the journalists appear to be unable to take 17 away from 2014 to ascertain the ages of these perpetrators convicted in Rotheram.

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