Innocent until proven guilty unless you’re on facebook

Ask 5 random people if they were arrested for a crime they didn’t commit if they would want to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

I think it’s fair to say 100% of those people would want to be presumed innocent. That may even have a higher agree rate than agreeing on freedom of speech. Being presumed innocent unless proven guilty is something that is essential to a free society and one of the best defenses against a government gone wild. And yes police officers and judges are government employees. So if the vast majority agree that if they were charged with something they would want to be seen as innocent why are the facebook comments on stories of people arrested or even wanted for questioning so horrible?

 

Seriously just look at any time the local CBS posts a picture of someone on their facebook wall. It sickens my stomach to how fast we as a society jump to the conclusion that if someones picture is on facebook they obviously committed what ever crime it is they were arrested for. Don’t believe me just look at any of the “wanted” or “arrested” photos published on facebook. I know they are “just reporting the news” and I have huge issues with the way they portray their stories or innocent people. Basically if they post your photo the public opinion of you is you are evil and should die. Now I’m sure it isn’t just them but they happen to be the local news page I like to follow on facebook.

 

So next time you are about to comment on facebook on a “wanted” or “arrested” photo or article take 2 seconds to think to yourself “what if this was my that was arrested and I was innocent?”

 

Don’t think people would be arrested or wanted for questioning if they weren’t guilty? Then you are hiding your head in the sand. The easiest numbers to look at are when DNA started to be used to convict and prove innocence of people. Back in 1995 when 10,600 cases were looked at over 25% of the cases the suspects that were being questioned were excluded once DNA tests were performed. (1) That means over 2,650 innocent people were suspects and if posted on facebook surely would have been thought publicly as guilty. Are the ones who are proven innocent or not found guilty ever re plastered all of the facebook walls? Sadly no.

 

photo from http://www.copblock.org

 

(1) http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/DNA_Exonerations_Nationwide.php

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