Solidarity with the survivor of Ched Evans and his bullying, abusive and above all else, misogynistic supporters. He and his partner have used their wealth and power to deny all women justice (we have the right to be sexually active and not raped or sexually assaulted in any way. Our sexual histories are irrelevant). Women’s rights have just gone back 30 years. The courts only serve the rich and powerful; there is no justice in the legal system. I believe her.
The Presumption of Innocence is a cherished principle of the British people, embedded in the national consciousness as a (near) constitutional right; a bedrock upon which all criminal justice procedures have been built. Early Islamic and Roman scholars introduced the idea to British common law maintaining that, ‘the proof lies upon the one who affirms, not the one who denies, since, by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof’. You can’t prove a negative: innocent until proven guilty. The French distilled into law that the burden of evidence must be on the State, since most people are, after all, not criminals.
Giving the benefit of the doubt to the accused, therefore, has both moral and empirical validity. Because of this, we extend this presumption outside of the courtroom. We quote it to each other, we warn gossips who talk of, ‘no smoke without fire’, that we must keep…
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