Presumption of innocence. A cornerstone to the American legal system. Yet some want to throw it out the window.
Let’s begin with this point: Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings have become far more than a mere job interview right now. These hearings are far closer to resembling a trial than what one might reasonably expect a job interview to look like. Neither is a Supreme Court seat the only thing at stake for Kavanaugh here. His reputation, his job as a teacher, the respect of his peers, the stability of his family. All of these have been put at risk by such accusation. So, too, he has testified under oath — a situation where he might be charged with a felony if proven to be lying. Lastly, and most importantly, there is no statute of limitations for felony sexual offenses in Maryland.
This risk should ensure Kavanaugh a presumption of innocence.
The idea that women’s accusations should be believed is a well-intentioned one. The sexual humiliation and abuse that women all over our country suffer is real and often ignored. I personally know women who have been subjected to this behavior; I’ve been close to these women, I’ve heard their stories and I’ve confronted these men only to watch them deny that they did anything wrong.
A justice system where an accusation, without supporting evidence or corroboration, is enough for guilt to be decided is no longer a justice system. It is a tyranny run by the people who pull their gun the fastest. There is no justice in a system that does not require evidence to be convicted of a crime. Perhaps our system is not exactly perfect. That does not change the fact that a presumption of innocence protects you and me from the clutches of those who might wish us ill and intend to take advantage of us using the legal system.