You may have heard America’s “innocent until proven guilty” policy. But, what does that axiom mean?
The American judicial system was set up to protect its citizens. One of these protections that you cannot be convicted of a crime unless a judge or jury deems that there is enough evidence to.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of Americans locked up every year that did not commit crimes. And, there are many more that do not get convicted of crimes and are allowed to continue without any jail time.
So, why does the system fail? Read below to find out!
Reasonable doubt is what holds the presumption of innocence. This means that to convict someone of a crime, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Though the US Constitution does not explicitly state this, the concept is that no innocent people will be convicted of crimes they did not commit. Reasonable doubt is what keeps innocent people safe.
In a judicial setting, the judge will question witnesses, law enforcement officials, and personal connections to the case. When asking these questions, the goal is to paint a picture of the events that led to a crime.
If the picture is not painted in its entirety or is manipulated, there is reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is anything that provides a loophole or way that the person being charged did not commit that crime.
Real Life “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”
The objective of reasonable doubt is to allow innocent people a chance to avoid being convicted of something they did not do. But, because you cannot be convicted of a crime unless you did it beyond a reasonable doubt, there is a bit of wiggle room.
This system gets abused in America. One famous example is the trial of OJ Simpson.
OJ Simpson was tried for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. To help in proving innocence, Simpson gathered lawyers from around the country.
Each of these lawyers worked to assemble of reasons he was innocent. These were the points of reasonable doubt they presented to jurors. Since there were many ambiguities, Simpson could not be convicted.
This happens frequently in the American judicial system: someone who looks guilty is not charged for their crimes. Unfortunately, though the system was built to protect the innocent, innocent people are still convicted of crimes.
Charging the innocent is because of a variety of reasons. Usually, innocent people are convicted because they don’t have enough evidence to build their case. This is because there is hardly any evidence at all.
If the witnesses or lawyers build a strong enough argument on the little evidence available for the case, the judge or jurors may favor their side. This leaves the innocent person to build their own case on the evidence that has already been presented against them.
Now that you know what innocent until proven guilty means, you can take appropriate action. If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime without a proper explanation of a case, contact a bail bonding service!
These services ensure that those arrested can get back to their lives. At A Be Out Bail Bonding, you can contact us 24 hours a day for help. Give us a call today to learn more.