If so, how does torture fit into this? Inflicting pain and degradation on someone is treating them as guilty, and the fact that they are being tortured means that they have not been proven guilty.
“Innocent Until Proven Guilty” is an American concept, yes. But, it is a concept that applies internationally. Unfortunately in this country, we do not practice what we preach.
Americans are still angry and they have been given an outlet for their anger. Muslims. Americans, no, Humans spend a good deal of time blaming other races and creeds for their misfortunes. Not to say that the Terrorists don’t deserve to be punished fully and extensively. But you have to separate the race from the evildoers.
Americans believe in the concept of “the end justifies the means” and will support torture until it becomes one of their own. That’s just the way we are. Americans will treat everyone as guilty until proven innocent until they, themselves, are on trial.
How easy would it be for your neighbor to “turn you in, as a terrorist” and have everything you know and love stripped away. Think it can’t happen? The McCarthy era proved that it can. If we allow the government to work so much in secret and let neighbor turn on neighbor for race, color, creed, orientation, what have you……McCarthy will return.
There is the legal concept, and the practical concecept. Consider suspected terrorists taken into custody, most will not really be terrorists, and when they are eventually let go, they will remeber how they were treated. What if everyone who caused the metal detector to beep or had a water bottle at airport security was tortured? Already there are plenty of complaints about the searches, but face it, YOU or ME is a suspected terrorist at that point, until proven innocent by passing the screening/ditching the possible liquid bomb. In Iraq, many people are arrested in big sweeps and kept in Abu Graib, but many are eventually let out. They should not be tortured and let out as fast as they can be screened, to avoid hard feelings from them or their family. The 14 worst guys, who were not legally found guilty, were kept in some secret place until recently, were questioned/trortured to get additional information. Not so much to prove they were guilty. They would have been questioned more, even if they had gone right to trial and been found guilty.
Yes, I believe firmly in innocent until proven guilty! And I am strongly against torture! Besides being inhuman, it is also not working, because most people will tell you anything you want to hear when they are tortured. People who torture belong to the sickest-minded people of the earth. They get pleasure out of the most horrible suffering from other humans. I wil never be able to understand that.
I find it incredibly insane that some people seem to think that you only need to treat Americans in a respectfull way. Seems to me that those people think they are some kind of übermensch, they remind me of Hitler.
Yes, I believe firmly in “Innocent until proven guilty”. That is the basis for the whole American justice system. And it’s a good thing too. As Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote, “It is better to set 100 guilty men free then to imprison one innocent man”.
I don’t believe in torture. Coerced confessions are of little value. It is a tactic used simply to make an innocent person admit to something they didn’t do. Very rarely does it lead to convicting a person of a crime, so it has almost no value to the American justice system.
However, in response to the “double standard” of it not applying to people who aren’t American citizens… “Innocent until proven guilty” is an American concept. It was put in our constitution as a safeguard for American citizens who are accused of wrong, that they won’t be tortured to coerce a false confession.
However, since non-American citizens are not subject to the American constitution (they are subject to the constitutions of their own country), “Innocent until proven guilty” does not apply to them. If their own country has a similar provision, then that is the standard they are to be held to. But if their own country does not believe in that concept, then we follow the constitution or government of whatever country they came from.
I’m with you corwynwulfhund, some of these answers make me sick! ‘The more torture the better?’. Applied to ‘suspected’ terrorists?! What happens when the suspicion turns out to be wrong? ‘Oops, my mistake, sorry for the physical and pyschological trauma you’ll probably experience for the rest of your life?!!’ Innocent until proven guilty applies to all people in all countries, America didn’t invent the conept. Close Guantanamo Bay.
I absolutely believe in the concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” and it is one of the reasons I am against torture. The fact that we follow the rules and our enemies don’t is not a reason for us to stop following the rules. The fact that we follow the rules even when our enemies don’t is what makes us the good guys.
Innocent until proven guilty Yes. One has to implement this
Not really!! It’s more: guilty until proven innocent!!!
right, they’ll put you in jail, a few months or years, they’ll find out they were mistaken! What will they say:
“I’m sorry”. Sorry supposed to fix everything!
I also believe that the standard for that is a concept found in the Constitution, which technically applies to citizens of the US
Apples and oranges, baby. I do believe in innocent until proven guilty for criminal court cases involving American citizens. Suspected terrorists – phhht! I could care less what they do to them. The more torture the better, as far as I’m concerned. Until we cut somebody’s head off on national television – I don’t want to see that.