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Presumption of Innocence: The Basic Principle of Humanity

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The Law
Credit: zerohedge.com

Innocence over Guilt

Have you ever heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”? That is the basic assumption we carry out when someone is accused. What if you know someone to be guilty but you lack sufficient evidence? You know in your heart that someone’s guilty but cannot be punished because the evidence is lacking. It is unfair right and you feel that the law is useless and you want to take the law into your own hands. But there is also argument that the principle is needed. What if the accused is not really the culprit? That is why prosecutors need to prove evidence to prove guilt and the lawyers to question that guilt.

Victim's Perspective

In the victim’s eyes, the law is another obstruction towards justice. They are more subjective than objective. When you do things according to the law, there are expenses for the lawyers, countless legal procedure and endless court hearings until the case is slowly forgotten.

Why do we need it?

To be able to explain the importance of this principle I will use an analogy I got from a television show I Hear Your Voice. The 100 piece elephant puzzle symbolizes the case. The 100 pieces are the evidences. If you are able to put 80 pieces together, you can still recognize that the puzzle is elephant just as the defendant is guilty because all the evidence are pointing towards him. If you put it into context, there are a lot of evidence against the defendant so even though some are lacking, the picture it shows is clear.

On the other hand those 20 pieces can show the feet of an elephant either kicking a ball or killing a person. You cannot for sure the true picture unless you fit all the pieces together. Going back to the case, the lack of evidence is like a thin rope the that the defendant holds on to just a the victim desperately want justice to be served. It can either prove that the defendant is guilty or innocent. So we should give the defendant the benefit of the doubt after all someone said that it is far better to release ten guilty men than to wrong one innocent man.



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