John Adams on Innocence

by dovetailedlife

I tried to post this to Facebook as a status, but Zuck has a moral conflict against posts longer than 420 characters. I felt like this was important to share.

John Adams on innocence and guilt in society:

It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.

(Found via John Gruber via Andy Ihnatko)

Page of quotes can be found here.

This was obviously key to the founding fathers’ thoughts on our legal system. I like it a lot. How wise.

The problem in our society today is that because of bias in the media and our own sick desires to see people punished and “brought to justice” is that it is impossible for presumption of innocence to become a reality. The jury showed today that we can still have presumed innocence. If only the rest of America could react in the way that today’s jury did.

-B

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