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John Mears

OPINION: DUE PROCESS GOES BOTH WAYS

Principles such as presumption of innocence (a criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt), and due process (all criminal defendants are entitled to the same due process of law) are basic principles of our justice system. I am afraid that in our search for better recognition and understanding of abused women, we have lost sight of these principles. However, we must acknowledge the two are not mutually exclusive ideals. The moment that public accusations become assertions of fact, whether in the eye of the public or in a court of law, is the day that our country has lost sight of who we are and what we believe in. Beliefs like this unnecessarily and irreparably ruin the lives and reputations of good men and women and tear apart families.

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