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Guilty until proven innocent

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posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 03:27 PM
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There was once a time, in our country, that when a person was accused of a crime they were considered innocent until proven guilty. In today’s technologically advanced world though, it’s very hard to keep that aspect of our judicial system in play. From internet bloggers to the cable news networks it seems everyone has there own spin of the details and who is to blame. From the baseball steroid scandals to famous celebrities on trial it seems that we now all have our preconceived ideas of the truth. It is alarming to me that we as a society have come to the point that we let those in the media make up our minds. It’s very easy to have your judgment swayed by the wealth of information available on high profile cases. The frightening aspect of all of this though, is the fact that the information available could be so skewed that it’s almost down right fabricated. There are virtually no repercussions for those that post fabricated information or “half-truths” received from sketchy sources.
One only needs to look at the last Presidential election to realize that we live in a time where credibility no longer matters. I mean, the last election could have been decided by a story that in the end was pretty much false and had nothing to stand on. The story was brought about for one reason, and one reason only, and that was for one side to use this “bomb shell” to try and win. I’m not saying that one side is any better than the other though, for they have both slipped so far that they no longer care about the truth, just the win. We live in a time where our news no longer presents the true facts but, for the most part, tries to further an agenda. We now get most of our information from where the “money is”. It is alarming to realize though, that this is, in a sense, the same money that helps our politicians get elected. We are being spoon fed exactly what they want us to hear and for the most part the general public just gobbles it down with a smile on their face. We need to wake up and realize that we are being manipulated so well that they can virtually get us to accept anything and even speak out in defense of it. The signs are there, we are being played virtually right in front of our own eyes, we just need to wake up and see the big picture.




posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 03:46 PM
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In europe a suspect is guilty until proven innocent. The arguement is on the defense to prove innocence. In the US it still laws with the prosecution to prove guilt. So there is no concern for a turn around.



posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 11:34 PM
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I realize that in theory (in the US) one is innocent until proven guilty, however, in my experience, the reality is somewhat different. "Innocent until proven guilty" implies that someone who has not been proven guilty would be treated with some form of dignity. One would have access to medical attention, and toilet paper. One would have their questions answered be allowed to post bail immediately unless some flight risk was evident. One would at least not be subjected to physical abuse.
In my experience I was arrested and treated like filthy scum. I was innocent and later proven innocent when the guilty party confessed. I was not treated like an innocent person at any point by the police, jail personnel, or the judge. Instead I went 24 hours without my prescription medication, I was not fed, I was nearly beaten for asking for toilet paper, I was exposed to TB, I was not even read my rights nor did I know the charge against me for the first 6 hours. I was not allowed a phone call until I had been transfered to another jail some 60 miles away. During that transfer the driver had great fun by swerving back and forth on the road so that we would be thrown around the back of the van. (We were all handcuffed together so when the drunks fell down they would drag the rest of us down as well. When the drunks threw up from the jarring ride, well it wasn't pretty.) I would love to say that my ordeal was mishandled by the police somehow, or that my case was highly unusual. Unfortunately it is not unusual. What I am describing is just standard procedure in the city in which I was arrested. These people detained are just everyday people, they get no press coverage.

Combine this problem with the problems of the high profile cases that the thread originator mentioned and it looks like our justice system is really breaking down.

I think that if we are to maintain (regain) the ideal of "innocent until proven guilty" and make our justice system really work we need some major reform to take place.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by wellwhatnow
I realize that in theory (in the US) one is innocent until proven guilty, however, in my experience, the reality is somewhat different. "Innocent until proven guilty" implies that someone who has not been proven guilty would be treated with some form of dignity. One would have access to medical attention, and toilet paper. One would have their questions answered be allowed to post bail immediately unless some flight risk was evident. One would at least not be subjected to physical abuse.
In my experience I was arrested and treated like filthy scum. I was innocent and later proven innocent when the guilty party confessed. I was not treated like an innocent person at any point by the police, jail personnel, or the judge. Instead I went 24 hours without my prescription medication, I was not fed, I was nearly beaten for asking for toilet paper, I was exposed to TB, I was not even read my rights nor did I know the charge against me for the first 6 hours. I was not allowed a phone call until I had been transfered to another jail some 60 miles away. During that transfer the driver had great fun by swerving back and forth on the road so that we would be thrown around the back of the van. (We were all handcuffed together so when the drunks fell down they would drag the rest of us down as well. When the drunks threw up from the jarring ride, well it wasn't pretty.) I would love to say that my ordeal was mishandled by the police somehow, or that my case was highly unusual. Unfortunately it is not unusual. What I am describing is just standard procedure in the city in which I was arrested. These people detained are just everyday people, they get no press coverage.

Combine this problem with the problems of the high profile cases that the thread originator mentioned and it looks like our justice system is really breaking down.

I think that if we are to maintain (regain) the ideal of "innocent until proven guilty" and make our justice system really work we need some major reform to take place.


Very interesting story, I am very sorry with the way you were abused.
My question to you is... what kind of reforms would you suggest that should be taken place in order to maintain an ideal Justice System?



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 02:31 AM
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I would argue that there was never a time "innocent until proven guilty" was actually practiced as much as it was preached.

Salem witch trials
Negro hangings
Japanese concentration camps
Mobs

It certainly hasn't changed much.
"Innocent until proven guilty" is a motto, a slogan, a comfortable lie, to make the masses feel that there is hope of justice in our "justice system" But when they want to railroad you, they will railroad you.

In the US, the prosecutor doesn't have to prove guilt, ask anyone who has received an automatic driving violation in the mail. My wife just experienced this twice, first time she was leaving the country at the time of the court date so she paid, second time she fought it and..the 100 people in front of her also fought it, and everyone walked out scott free, because they were ALL innnocent.
How many more just pay for a crime they did not commit? Guess what happened two days after fighting the false ticket? If you guessed she was pulled over by a cop and ticketed for a malfunctioning tail light (in a brand new, two week old car), you guessed right. Looks to me like racial profiling (so scandalously exposed here in New Jersey) has come back in full force.

On a drug conviction they will convict you BEFORE running an analysis on the substances they have confiscated, if you fight them, they charge YOU for the analyses, and double or quadruple the sentence. Its pay now and walk or pay more and rot.

Never assume the government at any level is not corrupt, its the same mistake as assuming that wild animal you just found is docile.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
In europe a suspect is guilty until proven innocent.


No they aren't. It's innocent until proven guilty here too, as it is in every country that respects human rights.

[edit on 29-3-2005 by kegs]



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by kegs

Originally posted by Nygdan
In europe a suspect is guilty until proven innocent.


No they aren't. It's innocent until proven guilty here too, as it is in every country that respects human rights.

Hmm, I've been under the impression that european law is based on napoleonic code, and that the burden of proof is upon the defense, not the prosecution, in continental europe? Maybe some other europeans can clear this up for me?



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by LiquidationOfDiscrepancy
Very interesting story, I am very sorry with the way you were abused.
My question to you is... what kind of reforms would you suggest that should be taken place in order to maintain an ideal Justice System?


Well, that is a good question. I think that this could be approached from any number of ways. I don't know if a truly ideal justice system is even possible, but there are some reforms that could help.

One way would be to decriminalize personal drug use and prostitution. It seemed to me that part of the problem was the vast number of people arrested. There were so many people that they had to be herded through like cattle. There was simply not enough time for the available personnel to do their jobs in a humane fashion. If you added up all the people with whom I shared a cell (or holding tank, transport van, etc) during my stay there were about 50. We were all issued color coded wrist bands. You could tell from across the room what a person had been arrested for. The detainees I encountered all fell into only 4 different groups. Personal drug use, prostitution, public intoxication, and traffic violations. There wasn't a serious criminal in the lot of us if you ask me.

Another approach would be to increase the number of personnel available to handle the job, however, I see this as putting a bandaide on an open artery.

A major area of reform should be tax laws and funding programs. A detention facility gets funding and tax breaks according to the number of people detained. In my case, I was arrested and put in one facility and given an identification number. That number will be reported to the state and will affect funding. Then they transferred me to another facility, that facility issued me a new id number and will also report that number to the state. To the state, it looks as if two people were detained in two separate facilities. Both detention centers will benefit from my arrest. I see this as a major flaw in the system. There was no real need for me to be transferred, other than to help the funding of the second detention center.

Another approach might simply be to make jail officer personnel accountable for their actions. It would take some serious work, but I see no reason why it isn't already that way.

Remarkably enough, just before my arrest I was certified as a jail officer and was set to go to work in the correctional system. Looking back on the whole thing, I was trained to do what was done to me. Needless to say, I am now unwilling to pursue such a career. If these other jailers received training similar to mine, the problem started with their training. They are not taught to respect the rights of their detainees. We were taught the law and the prisoners rights, but we were also taught how to abuse them. An excellent start would be to reform the training and certification process for jail officers. Interestingly enough, "innocent until proven guilty" was never taught, discussed, or even mentioned during my training.

Of course I am only talking about one state here. Maybe other states differ and certainly there are some decent people in the field of criminal justice and corrections. Just because I didn't encounter any doesn't mean they aren't out there.

Edit - spelling

[edit on 3/30/05 by wellwhatnow]



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 12:32 PM
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Guilty until proven innocent or innocent until proven guilty. Intresting dichotomy. Two different starting points.

However what is not known and often overlooked in America ...is what is called Admiralty Law. This peculear law venue occurs when one takes out a privelege of state..often covered by licenses granted...verses rights which persons have without licenses.
Drivers licenses , fishing licenses, marriage licenses. permits Tax laws. ..etc etc etc...all regulated enterprises of the state. All areas of the state where you have ceded to their authority and jurisdiction by accepting some privelege in exchange for some control document or number. In these venues you are not gauranteed a jury of your peers...and are often prosecuted and fined from a file folder. You ..in essence must prove and or demonstrate your innocence. You can request a jury trial by your peers and it is sometimes granted but it is not a automatic right like common law crimes. Usually they dont grant jury trials in these cases as the state doesnt usually have good track records in dealing with jurys..it is easier and more expedient to deal with a file folder and presume your guilt and you prove it is not so.
This is a view and understanding not known by most Americans as to how this system works. Admiralty courts verses common law statutes and courts. Most Americans think they are all the same ..they are not.
More and more laws are falling under Admiralty law courts and file folders and away from jurys. This gives more power to the state with the results of which many in this board complain ..though they dont realize the how or why. Admiralty courts put power and abuse in the hands of the state not the people. This is Feudalism...Royalty..a anathema to Americans.
Just something some of you ought to know Orangetom



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 05:00 PM
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Good post
I would say that in some parts of the "Od South" that the practice of guilty till proven innocent is very, very much alive and 'kickin. I guess it is just one of those time tested idealogies that manages to cut through the Bu!! Sh!rt in order to get an swift answer or conclusion to a crime. I know that this is true in some parts in Va. and know it to be the case in rural Ga. It is sad but when the local sherriff is God you just have to play by hus rules. Quite unfair and I hope you can overcome your bad experience.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by wellwhatnow
We were taught the law and the prisoners rights, but we were also taught how to abuse them.
[edit on 3/30/05 by wellwhatnow]


I was recently arrested for some B.S. and needless to say, jail sucks! They keep it uncomfortably cold i'd say 60 degrees F, and the only place to sit is a concrete bench or lay down on a concrete floor. I guess the concrete is acceptable, although there is no reason they couldn't provide some sort of cushions, but the temperature thing was rediculous, i was shivering the whole time, no matter what i did i could not warm up.

But anyways what I wanted to get from you, wellwhatnow, was a better description of your training, especially the abusing part.

Thanks



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