Demiurgent (demiurgent) wrote,
Demiurgent
demiurgent

Gosh. You mean trial-by-media might be a *bad* thing?

So. For many years now, the parents of slain child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey have been hounded. On top of their daughter being brutally assulted, murdered and left in their basement, they have spent their time fighting defamation lawsuits against a rather steady onslaught of media accusations. This ranges from heavy news implication that they were the murderers all the way up to depictions on MadTV, South Park and Family Guy that directly painted them as sociopathic (and the killers of their own daughter.) Sure, there wasn't enough evidence to convict them, but we the American people could exact a kind of justice, couldn't we? Couldn't we?

Here's the thing.

Police caught the murderer. Who confessed to the murder.

Patsy Ramsey died two months ago. She died not knowing who killed her daughter. She died living under a continuing burden of presumption of guilt. A burden her husband John continued to live under.

In America, our legal system has a presumption of innocence. Do you know why that is? It's because it's too damn easy to be wrong. The legal test has to be "proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

I just wish that socially we could all live up to that same standard. Can you imagine dealing with the horror and grief of your child being murdered and having to spend all your time rebutting people who don't know the first thing about the case assuming you did it?

But hey, it sold a lot of tabloids, right?

And isn't that the American Way?
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