Innocent until proven guilty  

lawyerdude2000 56M
64 posts
5/11/2005 7:14 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Innocent until proven guilty

So, what does this mean? For one thing, it is limited to the Court room. To an extent. For instance, during a criminal investigation, it does not limit the police (although they still have their own procedural limitations). Also, a judge is not limited on where to set bail by this ideal. It comes right down to the trial on the matter -- how can a person be convicted of a crime? It takes the prosecuting entity (state, city, etc) proving BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the person charged is guilty of the crime -- in other words, that the person did all the things that make up that crime. There are elements to every crime, and the prosecutor has to show that the defendant did every element BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

So, if the prosecutor cannot, there should not be a conviction. Let us remember, the prosecution has immense powers behind them. Police have badges, lights on their cars, and guns, and wield a lot of muscle. A prosecutor has investigators behind him/her as well. Often, the resources at the command of the prosecution vastly outweigh the resources of the defendant. Hence, if the prosecutor cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, I do not feel bad at all that the defendant is not convicted.

Ours is a country of laws, not men, and if ideals and beliefs like this are frustrating, just remember: our system of justice is the worst one in the world... with the exception of everything else. (Paraphrasing Winston Churchill)

LustGoddess2469 50F  
2453 posts
5/11/2005 10:36 am

Ok, here it goes. I agree with you that everyone is entitled to a fair trial if there is ANY doubt as to whether or not the accused actually committed the crime in question. However, a major thorn in my side with relation to our judicial system is when the perp. is caught red-handed, no questions, no doubt about being guilty of the crime (i.e., the bitch in Texas that drowned her five little boys in the bathtub). They should not be entitled to a trial. They are guilty, no doubt, no question. (And personally, I think she should receive the death penalty five times - give her a zap, bring her back, give her another zap, bring her back again, and so on.) Why should we all have to pay for someone like that to have a trial?

And I don't go for the "mental incapacity" or "insanity" pleas. There are far too many good people in this world that follow the rules and abide by the law. Anyone that commits a crime must have some level of "insanity" or "mental incapacity" to do so because it goes against the normal, acceptable behavior of our society. What next? Bank robbers copping an insanity plea because they weren't in a normal state of mind when they robbed that bank?

Just FYI - I've been working in law offices for 20 years, and I have a younger brother who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for a crime that he committed, so I've seen both sides of the fence.

Just my two cents.


wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
5/12/2005 1:22 am

Lusty see the trial involves alot more than just wether they did it, but also provides the judge hearing the case the necessary information on which to set a sentence.......not all cases go to trial, they can and often do plead guilty, in which case there is no trial, but sentence is set on past record, the charge, and that they pleaded guilty (which means shorter sentence)

Majority of repeat offenders plead guilty and don't go to trial, if they do they may as well just double or triple their sentence straight up........


lawyerdude2000 56M

5/12/2005 6:25 am

Lusty, one thing to remember is that Criminal law is both federal and state. When it comes to state prosecutions, it differs from state to state as to whether you can plead insanity. For instance, in Utah, it is difficult to do anything more than mitigate sentencing with an insanity defense... the best one can hope for is guilty but insane, which is a one-way ticket to a lockdown State facility for treatment until they have "recovered", after which a review of sentencing. I am glad that this has prompted some very articulate and intelligent comments!

bbwredhead71 45F
58 posts
5/13/2005 1:11 pm

I think that a lot of people forget just want it means to be an American. Every American has rights, we may not always agree on them, or even what the rights mean, but that is the beauty of being an American. I look at it this way, if it was me on trial, innocent or not, I want a fair trial. It is my right as an American.

LustGoddess2469 50F  
2453 posts
5/18/2005 7:18 am

To quote bbwredhead, "...if it was me on trial, innocent or not, I want a fair trial." That is where this country has gone awry. I can understand if you are innocent and want a fair trial to prove it. That's all fine and dandy. BUT, if you are NOT innocent and there is proof, why should our tax dollars be spent on a trial for you to try to prove that you aren't guilty, even though you really are? If someone is clearly guilty of a crime, then they are guilty, period, end of report. They should just be sentenced and put away. Why should precious court time be wasted on someone that is guilty?


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