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Re: I'm innocent I tell ya!

At 01:31 PM 1/30/2003 -0500, Dave Faneuf wrote:

>On Thu, 30 Jan 2003 04:26:15 -0800 (PST) Cooper Fox <fox893@yahoo.com>
> >
> >
> > Now, do people plead "innocent" or "not guilty"?  I
> > have heard both in the media, but I seem to remember a
> > college in tellng us that i was one or the other...
> > Can't remember which, though.
>As I understand it, the legal plea is Not Guilty,  I have been told by
>old newspaper types that papers began using the term "Innocent" in place
>of Not Guilty out of concern of a typo and dropping the word NOT.  It's a
>holdover on TV and Radio these days although I always make it a point to
>say Not Guilty.

Not a lawyer, but playing one on the listserv....

This stems from the old legal touchstone that a defendant is "innocent 
until proven guilty", so the trial isn't about whether you're 
innocent...it's about whether you're guilty, thus placing the burden of 
proof on the prosecution that a person is "guilty beyond a reasonable 

Speaking of which...something I've been hearing a *lot* lately on the 
alternative news channels (Indymedia, Pacifica, etc)...and even a 
smattering on NPR as well...is that a lot of things in the USA Patriot Act 
turn the axioms I just mentioned on their head.   A lot of freedoms 
supposedly guaranteed in the bill of rights have been quietly nulled and 
voided in the name of fighting terrorism (esp. Fourth Amendment 
protections).    If I wasn't hearing it on NPR, I'd dismiss it as the 
ultra-liberals desperate to get listeners somehow...but left-leaning as it 
is, NPR doesn't make such statements lightly, even when they're only 
whispers at this point.

Aaron "Bishop" Read             aread@speakeasy.net
FriedBagels Consulting          AOL-IM: readaaron
http://www.friedbagels.com      Boston, MA