Letters:

Rights for the innocent

08/10/2012

Most people might not know that if a person is charged with domestic violence and a jury acquits them (or the charge is dismissed) it does not prove that the defendant is innocent. The verdict simply means that there is reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty. This is much different from “proof beyond reasonable doubt” or the question of moral certainty where one would act in reliance upon its truth in matters that are important to them.

This also means that a juror cannot decide a defendant’s actual innocence, although it does exist, and that leads to injustice. Moreover, an innocent defendant may be subject to a restraining order because the law does not require an overt act. Instead it is based on what the innocent defendant might do rather than what that person didn’t do. That’s open to pure speculation that continues to be fostered by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

I support the use of DNA testing in matters of allegations of abuse and rape, but the testing must occur within a valid time span that would make it effective. This should reduce the number of false and malicious allegations that would lead to unjust consequences. So in these matters, those who have been falsely accused of abuse or rape should be compensated from those funds that are now allocated to the VAWA. This would continue until changes are made that provide complete compensation for those men who have been falsely accused.

Edward Steven Nun, Vallejo, CA

Source: Times Herald