Presumption of guilt

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 03.31.33The no-smoke-without-fire argument is

primitive jurisprudence, returning us to the Middle Ages.

In murder trials, Dalrymple has often been ‘frustrated’ by

the inability to introduce evidence that the accused is a nasty, violent man, precisely of the kind to commit the offence.

But

the man in the dock is accused of specific acts, not of being a bad man in general of the kind whom we all love to hate. It is, therefore, right that he should be protected against the introduction of prejudicial information (or unsubstantiated rumour).

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 02.01.34Moreover,

Increased severity of punishment of wrongdoers cannot be used to atone or make up for past unjustified leniency.

The rule of law

does not come naturally to the human mind, and we are all susceptible to abandon it when our passions are engaged. Burning witches at stakes is much more natural.

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