…than to punish the innocent.” This maxim may be more commonly interpreted and known, at least in the United States, as “innocent until proven guilty.” It is a foundation of law in the United States, and for a very good reason.
More and more, though, it seems like people have lost a fundamental understanding of why that maxim exists. When I see articles such as this, or this lovely article, with quotes such as, “How often are we manipulated into prioritizing the abuser over the abused?” I am reminded that, by and large, most people do not understand the nature of the judicial system or due process in the United States. The judicial system is one in the US that is known as “adversarial,” that is, the court pits the accuser against the accused to judge the evidence and credibility of those involved in the alleged incident. As part of this, courts and law makers have devised rules and standards for court conduct. One of those standards, in fact, one so important that it is covered twice in the United States Constitution, is the right to due process.