Innocent till proven guilty

There is a reason for everything.

There is a reason why I think the way I do, and you the way you do. There is a reason why we think differently, or similarly. There is a reason why we take different stands, or none at all.

But there is a universal understanding that everyone is “innocent till proven guilty”. I believe, there is also a reason why this is so. It is, after all, quite impossible to prove that something did not happen, as opposed to proving that something DID happen, except for cases of proving one’s absence at the scene of crime, otherwise known as an alibi.

How do I prove that I did not steal something? It is for you to prove that I did. I cannot prove that I did not touch something, it is for you to show fingerprint proof, or other such proof, that I did. I cannot prove that I did not kill someone, it is for you to prove that I did.

Hence why, “innocent till proven guilty”.

I believe that is also the fundamental reason why defence is always the last to present its case. Because it is for the prosecutor to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that I have indeed committed what it is that I am charged of. Defence need only throw doubt on the prosecutor’s case.

There is a phrase, “There are always two sides to a coin”.

But I argue, we can only see one side of the coin at any one time. We cannot possibly see both sides at the same time. Therefore, I think it equally difficult for a person to be totally objective.

Both defence and prosecution have to argue their side of the coin. The judge listens to both sides, and in the process of coming to a verdict, this coin has to be flipped over and over again to allow the judge to have all the information needed to make a decision deemed fair, and after careful deliberation.

The blogosphere is no court. There is no judge. There are only accounts from various people on the way they see their side of the coin.

Susan said in her post:

I hear alot of people talking about neutrality, of being un-bias..

If I may, I think it is highly impossible to remain neutral. At most, one can be objective in wanting to see both sides of the coin, to listen to both sides of the story. But even as a judge has to make a verdict at the end of a hearing, one must admit that after hearing both sides of the story, one has to come up with a conclusion as to where they stand.

That one decides to see both sides doesn’t mean that one doesn’t make a decision at the end as to whom to believe more. Perception is an underlying nature of humankind.

I refer to what Mukhriz said in Parliament the day Anwar was arrested:

“I believe Datuk Seri Anwar did. Certainly he did commit this ‘keji’ act.”

That is what Mukhriz believes. That is his perception. But he also used the word “certainly”.

At the same time, it also shows that he does not take to heart the understanding that everyone is “innocent till proven guilty”.

That the Opposition defends Anwar, I see no wrong. There is nothing wrong in defending the accused, because he is to be assumed as “innocent till proven guilty”.

But for them to claim that this is a “political conspiracy”, then it becomes a burden on their part to prove that it is. Because the government cannot prove that they are not involved in a “political conspiracy”. Only the accuser can provide proof that there is substance to their claim.

I personally don’t believe that Anwar has committed sodomy. My line of contention is quite similar to that of John Lee’s argument HERE. I believe him innocent until proven beyond reasonable doubt that he has committed the crime that which he is accused of.

But before we throw this case out of court, let there be transparent investigations. The already tainted judiciary, along with the recent reports against the AG and IGP on fabrication of evidence do not bode well.

Anwar’s unwillingness to give blood samples for DNA tests may be slightly deterring for a smooth investigation. But his reasons are not unwarranted. His fears are not unsubstantiated. The lack of trust and transparency in the judiciary and the way investigations are conducted did not start yesterday.

*I am not well-versed in law, so if there are any discrepancies, I stand corrected.


5 Comments on “Innocent till proven guilty”

  1. Upside Down says:

    Innocent till proven guilty. Yes it is universal.

    You must also not forget that this basis also universally used to cheat.

    I got friends who REGULARLY cheat their wives. You know what they say, “Die also I won’t admit, unless she can prove it”.

    To assume this universal principle is not abuse, it a bit naive.

    In corporate scene, look at the nomines and proxy company they use to front for Big Shots, you get the driff?

    Now we know only Chua Soi Lek is the real So Chai!!

  2. warrior2 says:

    Nothing is absolute and that includes this concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    This concept is only applicable and relevent when we are talking about how to determine whether an act is commited or not for example. I am trying to explain this as best as I could but find difficulties in painting it.
    I will try to explain that in this form and I hope it is correct.
    If I see a mr x commits a crime, he gets caught and is charged according to the system. He isnt guilty until sentenced so by the court right!RIGHTLY SO? Isnt he already guilty because I saw him?

    My response: To you he is guilty, because you saw him. But in court, the judge has the ultimate say, and the judge did not see it. You would probably stand witness for the prosecution. You are one of the “proof” against Mr X. That’s why witnesses are important I guess. He is not “already guilty” in the judge’s eyes, but your testimony will be a strong element to convince the judge that Mr X is guilty.

    A mr y commits adultery. Take The former Min of Health as an example. Lets say his wife seek annulment in a court on an adultery basis. The wife uses the tape as evidence . Many have seen the tape. We all know Mr Chua did it. I dont know whether this is a good example of what I am trying to paint.

    My response: In this case I think if there is a tape, then it is valid proof that Mr Y is guilty of adultery, unless defense can prove that the tape has been tampered with.

    I am also trying to say that opinions are based on certain information/principle. Mukhriz thinks anwar did it based on what he knows. You dont based on maybe your principle.

  3. warrior2 says:

    Following your respond, is MR X and Mr X-Minister guilty or not? Do I have to wait for the court to pass its judgement even though I saw Mr X and many saw Mr X-Minister? What if the court finds Mr X amd Mr X-Minister not guilty on TECHNICALITIES?

    Are they GUILTY or not? At what point is a person guilty? I am curious!
    Well, all I can say is that if it is a court case, the judge has the final say.

    Let me put it this way. Say Mr A reports that he saw you stealing. You defend yourself saying you didn’t. Do you not deserve the benefit of the doubt? Or is the judge to say that you are guilty right from the point that Mr A says you did it?

    When someone says YES, and the other says NO, it means that someone is telling a lie, or there was an error in transition. The judge needs to determine which is the correct version. And because the accused stands to be punished if convicted, therefore the benefit of the doubt is on his side, hence he is “innocent till proven guilty”.

    I hope I make sense..

  4. warrior2 says:

    BUT many are found not guilty or guilty on technicalities and false evidence? So are they guilty or not?
    I think it’s difficult to argue this if you’re bent on wanting a clear-cut answer. Because I don’t think things are solely black and white. Of course, there are some cases where there is false evidence and wrong judgements (I hope very minimal). And that’s why we need credible judiciary and police force to complement.

    You may think a person guilty. But the courts and the world may not agree with you, because of the “technicalities”.

    My contention in writing this piece was that in a third party situation, the accused is, or should always be “innocent till proven guilty”.

  5. janedoe says:

    Im doing a research paper in my english class and my opinion in this paper is that the justice system is just corrupt and that they in fact lied when they said “innocent til proven guilty”. I honestly believe they have lied becuase through personal experiences i can see that you are actually treated as guilty til proven innocent. I would like some feedback to help with my paper.

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