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January 13th, 2011
11:57 pm


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language failure

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Date:January 18th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)

Justice Is Blind

I have always thought the "alleged" or "accused" language gets used not to prevent libel, but because that is how our system of justice works. Even though there is a mountain of evidence, both eyewitness and physical, against the accused, he is considered innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty in a court of law. Calling him "the accused criminal" or "the alleged gunman" until that trial is a fine way, in my opinion, to remind ourselves of a tenet of our legal system we all should hold dear: innocent until proven guilty.
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Date:January 18th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Justice Is Blind

I would agree that a court should refer to any possible act as "alleged.". What I'm talking about are those cases here a photograph of a man holding a gun is captioned "alleged gunman." Further, newspapers are not courts, and given the rush to judgement (cf the accusations regarding Loughner's motives), the idea that we are withholding judgement regarding clear facts makes little sense to me.
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