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The Daily Telegraph has a good summary here of where things now stand on the Strauss-Kahn case. The story seems to be evolving rapidly. What should not change is the fact that DSK remains entitled to the presumption of innocence. The choreographed circus of his perp walk remains as questionable now as, in my view, it always has been. The latest revelations (seemingly in his favor) don’t make that any more or less the case, and nor should the eventual outcome of this matter.

 

The presumption of innocence is one of the foundations of American liberty, which is why Ronald Reagan highlighted it in a talk about freedom that he gave at Moscow State University back in 1988:

 

Go into any courtroom and there will preside an independent judge, beholden to no government power. There every defendant has the right to a trial by a jury of his peers, usually 12 men and women — common citizens, they are the ones, the only ones, who weigh the evidence and decide on guilt or innocence. In that court, the accused is innocent until proven guilty, and the word of a policeman, or any official, has no greater legal standing than the word of the accused.

 

Quite how the principle described by Reagan is compatible with the spectacle of a deliberately humiliating perp walk (regardless of who the defendant might be) designed at some level to influence a jury escapes me.

 

Mayor Bloomberg would disagree. Back in May the Nurse explained, “If you don’t want to do the perp walk, don’t do the crime.”

 

Translation: All defendants are guilty.

 

Reagan or Bloomberg? I know which of the two I prefer



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