To translate the above Latin blog title into colloquial English…
The burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.
Indeed, a fair, free society presumes everyone innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The U.S. Constitution’s 6th amendment is even more explicit:
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence [sic].”
All of the above language becomes key, especially when we consider how, as of late, our daily news reportage has been featuring underlings accusing superiors of sexually harassing, abusing and/or assaulting them.
SIDEBAR: Just to be clear, here, no one should ever malign investigative journalists… discredit their factual reportage as “fake news” simply to escape an inconvenient truth / uncomfortable reality. Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter how much the facts of any story may negatively impact an accused person’s life and/or livelihood. After all, a reporter’s job #1 is to not only alert us to the fact that there are purportedly dangerous people in our midst but to also encourage other victims to come forth to proclaim, “Me too”. Moreover, whenever such stories involve elected / appointed officials and political wannabes, these reporters are also performing their patriotic duty to alert our society… our electorate… to the presence of potentially corrupt leadership… e.g. lawbreaker lawmakers, lawless law enforcers, judicial hacks, etc.
Returning now to the specifics… while our Fourth Estate’s journalists have been doing a fine job in exposing ALLEGED sexual predators and while it’s true that, statistically speaking, their victims are seldom liars, we cannot and must not ignore that in caps and italics “A” word. In other words…
The broadcast airwaves and front pages of our online and in print newspapers are not the proper venues for trying and convicting the accused.
In other words, have we not been putting the cart before the horse?
With our goal being to make our entire society a much safer, saner, pleasant place to live and work in, the accused would be doing us a tremendous favor if they’d first report sexual harassment, abuse and assaults to the appropriate legal authorities. From there, the legal authorities would present the evidence to the prosecutors… prosecutors would go to trial whenever the evidence proved sufficiently strong… juries would weigh all the evidence to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused… and judges would punish the convicted appropriately (be that fines, community service, mental institutionalization or imprisonment).
Last but not least… that’s where the Fourth Estate’s journalists would enter the picture… act as the relentless watchdogs of the entire judicial process… sniff out any and all irregularities… verify whether or not prosecutors and defense attorneys are acting ethically… whether or not assigned judges are conducting honest and impartial trials.
Of course… all fair-minded journalists would also be serving our society well were they to grant any legitimately acquitted person an interview… to publish their story to set the record straight and restore their good name…. to give such an article the exact same positioning and prominence that trial had been given.
This all makes sense to me… how about you?