Gossip and the Presumption of Innocence

There are so many allegations of criminal behaviour against those who are living and those who have died. We can defame the dead with impunity, but to defame the living is morally reprehensible, even more so if that is done as a result of someone wanting to further their career thus gaining material reward, or out of simple spite.

The law requires every person who is accused of crime to be presumed innocent, until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Proof is not required beyond any shadow of a doubt, but beyond any reasonable doubt. That is the keystone of the hall of justice.

As a species we thrive on gossip, even malicious gossip. We should remember the presumption of innocence and use it as a way of dismissing gossip and rumour about any wrong behaviour that is alleged against any person. The more heinous the crime alleged the harder it is to do this. Perhaps this idealistic approach is unrealistic, we are, after all, mere humans, with all those vices and prejudices that we have developed in the course of our lives and by virtue of the teachings of those with whom we grew up. But imperfection is no reason why we cannot strive for perfection.

2 Responses

  1. What then Rob, would one do with this evidence, to those who condone it by whatever means.

    • The other side of the story in Syria.


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