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Have We Lost the Concept of Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

Updated on November 25, 2017


Our justice system is built on the concept of innocent until proven guilty but today this concept seems to have been thrown out the window with recent news events. Allegations are running high these days but they are only allegations unless those accused have admitted their guilt. Each day new allegations seem to be reported in the news but they are only allegations and the media or much of it need to stop acting like they have been proven guilty of the crimes with which they are accused. The concept of innocent until proven guilty is one on which our constitution and our way of life is based. It is the essence of our justice system.

In a court of law guilt must be proven but in the realm of public opinion and the media it appears that today it does not exist given the coverage of recent events. The media for the most part have their own agenda and they care nothing about innocent until proven guilty. This is not the case with all media sources but it is with many of them. In addition politicians some of their own parties of individuals being accused are getting into the act and they are ignoring the concept of innocent until proven guilty. This is wrong and they must ask themselves how they would feel if they were facing the same allegations now being thrown about.

In one case in particular allegations being brought against an individual who is running for the U.S. Senate in the state of Alabama are being brought up in some cases 40 years later just before a special election. There may be some logical reasons in some cases why these allegations are surfacing but the timing smacks of a political agenda to influence the voters of Alabama. I must say that if any of the allegations are true then the individual should discontinue his campaign but he deserves his day in court if it gets that far. Another aspect has been stated that if elected he may not actually be accepted in the Senate. This in itself is wrong and is against every aspect we have as a democracy.

Many times we ask ourselves why voters return some individuals to serve in Congress but it is up to the voters in each state to make those decisions. Individuals duly elected to serve us in Congress have the legal right to take their place and it is disrespectful to voters who elect individuals to push the concept that Congress knows best who should serve and who should not. Decisions by the voters must be accepted by Congress. If the individual is elected by the voters in the state where he is running the Senate has no right and possibly no legal authority to not recognize a duly elected individual. Action can be taken in the future if the allegations are proven to be valid at a later time. The state involved in this specific instance is Alabama.

The timing of the allegations seems to be suspicious with the upcoming election. The individual was leading in the polls and it appears to be a way to affect the lead he had before the allegations. Request to verify certain information through the individual’s lawyer have been met with resistance. If the allegations were true there should not be any resistance to offer evidence so that it can be verified in this case by handwriting experts who could validate or disprove the allegations based on evidence being identified.

Every individual deserves their day in court when allegations surface about specific events or situations. In some cases the evidence is clear and in other cases not so much. Some individuals have admitted their guilt but when individuals flatly deny the allegations it is up to a court of law to determine guilt or innocence not the media, political parties or individuals associated with political parties. The decision to elect the individual to the Senate is up to the voters in Alabama and it is hoped that the coverage which in many cases is relentless to influence the election results will fall on deaf ears. In the 2016 election there were many negative media coverage but the voters knew what was really happening and they made their decisions not based on the media coverage but what was right. It is hoped the same occurs after this senate election.

The media has too much influence or at least in the past they had too much influence but voters are tired of the media slanting the news to meet their agenda. The media in many respects cover the news they want to cover but they do not tell the whole story in many cases. The media is losing credibility and the American voter is tired of the bias coverage by many of the media rather than telling the whole truth so the public can make good decisions. Presenting the facts that support their agenda is not in agreement with the responsibility of the media. Coverage of the news should be honest and present the whole facts not just what they want the public to hear.

Today the public is generally ignoring the media as they do not trust what they are hearing which is evident by the disapproval rating of the media. Polls presented by organizations are also a problem as they are not reliable or accurate as witnessed by the polls taken in the 2016 election for President. The poll results were way off and were an attempt to influence an election. Individuals want to be on the winning side in many cases but what the voters really thought never showed up in any of the polls taken before the election.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      21 months ago

      Thanks for stopping by and proving your input to this hub. It is much appreciated. Journalism should present the facts and let us decide the issue being presented

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I totally agree with your point of view, Dennis. Objectivity has been an ideal of journalism but I don't know how much it has ever been adhered to. Never the less in fairness to the accussed and everyone concerned we should be presented with the best information available.

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