Guilty until proven innocent, or innocent until proven guilty–Which do you want?

An article in the New York Review of Books points out that more than 95% of inmates in the USA do not get a trial.

That is because of the widespread use of plea bargins.

Even that percentage under addresses the state of affairs because it deals with how cases are ultimately resoled. As a Washington Post article reports, 64 percent of the total jail population has not even been convicted by plea bargain yet. These human beings are in jail with merely pending charges, 3/4ths of which are for non-violent offenses, because they cannot afford bail.

What do you think? Do you think the current system in the United States is treating people as guilty until proven innocent or as innocent until proven guilty?

Which do you want? Do you want a criminal justice system that treats people as guilty until proven innocent or as innocent until proven guilty?

Would you rather see the billions of dollars spent jailing people–who aren’t convicted of any crime and who aren’t even charged with a violent crime–put towards sometimes else such as towards providing food to hungry children or towards lower taxes for the millions of working poor in the United States? Why or why not?

I’m really asking. Please Respond now. 🙂

And, if you like my writing, please sign up (free to do) to be notified of the release of my upcoming book, Justice.


Published by Scott Hughes

I am the author of Achieve Your Dreams. I also published the book Holding Fire: Short Stories of Self-Destruction. I have two kids who I love so much. I just want to be a good role model for them. I hope what I do here makes them proud of me. Please let me know you think about the post by leaving a comment below!

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1 Comment

  1. I think it depends what class you’re in. I’m a middle class white woman, so I’m innocent until proven guilty. Even then, I’d do significantly less time than you would even for the exact same crime, because you’re a man.

    Black men, particularly young men, get the longest sentences and the harshest penalties. They are assumed guilty and sometimes penalized even after being proven innocent. The poorer the defendant, the more time he will serve. The richer, the less likely they are to serve anytime, even for heinous crimes.

    Case in point, Bill Cosby. If fifty woman accused you of sexual assault, would you be walking free? Or that Ethan whatever who killed four people in a drunk driving crash and was acquitted because he was too rich to know better?

    I think the bigger issue here isn’t even that so many possibly-innocent people are in jail, but how they are disproportionately poor.

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