Under US law, when there is probably cause to suspect someone, we have every right to do so. Innocent until proven guilty is a term that refers to who has the burden of persuasion in a trial situation.

“In other words, this presumption is not literal, but is simply indicative of who has the burden of persuasion and proof in a trial setting. If we were routinely sending people to trial whom we presumed to be there for no good reason because we believed them to be innocent, our court system would be more clogged than it already is.

Instead, we arrest and indict those for whom we have probable cause to believe deserve to be arrested and indicted. We come to that conclusion after thorough investigation and analysis of evidence. It is via this level of due process that we can be reasonably assured that those who are standing trial deserve to be there although they do not bear the burden of proving their own innocence. Rather, the burden of proof of guilt lies with the prosecution.

It does not literally mean that we think people who are standing trial are considered innocent, and it’s misleading to continue to bandy that phrase around as if it did. We also are not out of line to accuse or suspect someone when given probable cause to do so. When a crime is reported, we believe the accuser until such time as further investigation reveals that we should not believe them. And then we proceed accordingly.”

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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