Welcome

Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer

Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Really?

Not long ago I received a notice that I was being called for jury duty. Wanting to do my civic duty, I took the day off, drove to the public transit parking lot, road the public bus downtown and entered the courthouse. After a wait, we were given instructions as to what we could expect and what was expected of us. We were given numbers, seated and then waited. Finally, a certain number of prospective jurors was called.

After being seated in the juror chamber we were addressed by both lawyers, the lawyer for the prosecution and the lawyer for the defense. We were not told the accusation against the defendant, but we were asked questions concerning our “life” background. I would suppose that both lawyers were attempting to “cull” the group of prospective jurors in order to have a jury that would be the most in favor of their position.

During this time of questioning, the lawyer for the defendant asked an important question. He asked, “Have any of you already judged my client before hearing the accusations or the evidence?” To my surprise one person raised her hand. All I could think was, “How can you judge this person without hearing the case, the accusations and the evidence?” So, the lawyer asked the one person who raised her hand, “And what is your verdict?” to which the person, rather astutely answered, “Innocent,” which then made me, and all the other jurors present, realize that our justice system does say that “A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

With that stated, I believe we have actually moved way past that naive sentiment in this country. With the sensationalism of the modern media, defendants are accused, tried, and there is a call for a conviction even before the facts are brought to light. Unfortunately, most of this is done in the light of what has been dubbed “political correctness.”

Even more unfortunate is that those who are innocent lose their good name, must defend themselves and have no avenue of recourse to regain what was lost and this also is to the detriment of those who are ultimately found guilty. And one ugly fact is that all a person has to do is to accuse another of any number of improprieties and that person’s name and reputation, whether guilty or innocent, is lost for ever.

The next time you hear any accusation, trial and conviction from any media outlet you might ask yourself, “I wonder what facts are not being stated?” “I wonder what half-truths are being presented?” “I wonder what agenda is being pursued by this media outlet?” And finally, I would ask that you think to yourself, “This person is innocent, at least until he or she is proven guilty.”

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