Presumed Innocent – until proven guilty? Yes, of course! Unless you are part of the ‘out of favor’ crowd – subject to be consumed by the flames of mob-rule! A lynch mob – used as a weapon to subvert the ‘consent of the governed‘ to condemn and punish without a fair trail those who are currently worthy of scorn such as reactionaries or members of the Christian and/or Libertarian/Constitutional or Conservative tribes 😲 .
Despite what passes for American History or Civics classes in these United States of America (after at least a 2 and half generation assault on the education system) our country was indeed founded on The Rule of Law! Yes, as quaint as that “old idea” may seem; that the principle whereby all members of a society (including those in government) are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes – Laws!
ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
Certainly a big plank in the rule of law is the principle: that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. Heck even as far back as the Roman Empire, this concept was acknowledged. There is even a (fairly well known) maxim to that idea: ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (“the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies”). Hey, even under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11. ‘Under the presumption of innocence, the legal burden of proof is thus on the prosecution!’
The dangers of living in a society – that not since the Salem Witch Trails – has condemned those on trail (or even in the public square of (un)social media) without the burden of proof – is beyond horrifying! Indeed it is an inquisition where no one is safe. A vicious throwback to a feudal society where we or our children could easily be sacrificed on a pyre of poisoned, virulent political expediency – to satisfy the blood lust of the offscourings of society.
Lastly, the unintended consequences includes damage done to any legitimately affected person who’s accusation is greatly diminished by the noise of those crying fire – where there is none.