Guilty or innocent--please delete if not interested!

Subject: Guilty or innocent--please delete if not interested!
From: Kelly Burhenne <burhennk -at- SMTPGW -dot- LIEBERT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 1995 07:25:12 EST

Text item: Text_1

>hindered in any way without established proof. In our practice we are
>much less than free and open; we tend to believe anyone -- or at
>least the majority -- of folks put on trial are guilty, regardless of
>proof,

The reason for this is because, in most cases, they are guilty. By
the time you go through the police narrowing you as their main
suspect; gathering enough evidence that the prosecutor agrees to take
the case to trial (they only do this if they're pretty sure they can
win); and proving to a Grand Jury that there is enough evidence to
issue an indictment, unless you were set up or are _very_ unlucky, you
probably did it!

(Don't everybody pick me for jury duty all at once!)

I realize that this topic doesn't really directly relate to tech
writing, but it is a good example of the "power of words" and how
what you write (or say) can have an impact. Vince Bugliosi, a
lawyer and author I respect very much (Charles Manson prosecutor,
etc.) made a very good case about this very point.

It is his belief that there is a travesty of American Justice going on
every single day. When the judge charges a jury, s/he says, "you must
find the defendant guilty or innocent", when what they should say is,
"guilty or not guilty"--HUGE difference in the minds of jurors. He
has fought many a judge on this point and feels (and I agree) that
standard jury charges, which thousands of judges read to juries every
day, should be changed to reflect this point.

I don't expect to hear any flames about this--the subject line is very
clear!

End of Discussion!!!!!!!

-Kelly Burhenne


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