Ginny Kirkley: The presumption is innocence unless proven guilty |

Ginny Kirkley: The presumption is innocence unless proven guilty

In Simon Gates’ letter to the editor on Oct. 31 regarding Judge Kavanaugh, he stated that “It is just as bad to assume innocence as it is to assume guilt.”

Excuse me, did I really see those words in print?

I read this sentence in utter disbelief that anyone would even think, much less put into print, such an outrageous comment. Perhaps this is a reflection of the fact that many of us are unaware of the basic principles in our Constitution.

In the United States, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees to every person equal protection under the law. The legal concept is that the guilt of an accused person cannot be presumed and that they must be assumed to be innocent until proven otherwise. Assumption of guilt in the absence of due process and/or corroborating evidence is responsible for much of the division in our country today, bending the facts to suit the desired opinion.

Some of those who opposed Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court presumed that he was guilty unless proven innocent, in the absence of any corroborating evidence of his guilt.

Instead of reasoned opposition on the basis of his extensive and exemplary record on the bench which spoke to his qualifications to serve on the highest court in our nation, a wrongly skewed notice of justice was touted in the media and thrust upon us in the court of public opinion.

Please acknowledge and understand a principle that is intrinsic to the concept of liberty and justice in this country, the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.

Ginny Kirkley

Penn Valley

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