The Golden Thread that Comprises the Sinews of the Noose
But in any courtroom, there is a dual presumption of innocence. One, that the accused is innocent and has to be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and two, that the jury, or judge, is innocent of complicity as well. So, if anyone is possibly guilty in legal proceedings, it has to be the defendant. The innocence of all other parties – the prosecution, the defenders, those in the public gallery, the judge... – are representative of society, its various hierarchies, the socio-economic-cultural system, etc, and are beyond question or scrutiny. That, I suppose, adds the blindfold over the eyes of justice and turns the golden thread into a noose.
I apply ‘reasonable doubt’ with impartiality.
Given that the only thing we can be certain of is the certainty of the fallibility of humanity, the golden thread requires that in every case, not only must the guilt of the defendant be proven beyond reasonable doubt, but the innocence, or absence of complicity, of society has to be proven to be true as well. If we are to truly honour the presumption of innocence on the part of the defendant, it cannot be possible to do this unless we do our utmost to prove we aren't complicit in allowing any course of events to take place that might deliver the conviction of another. In other words, the presumption of the innocence of the accused has to be complemented by the presumption of the guilt of society. It is only that that tips the scales of justice in favour of justice.
ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
(the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies).
‘The burden of proof rests on who asserts’. Hence, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution, and society. The former asserts the culpability of the defendant, and the latter assert their innocence enough to have the proverbial stone at hand for casting. But it is the refusal to appreciate the all-indicting nature of The Golden Thread that blinds justice, renders her scales lopsided, and always in favour of the prosecution as this enables them to attempt to prove the guilt of one where its roots might plausibly lie in all.
If people can take so much pride in the achievements of their sporting produce, the achievements of their ancestors, etc, when there is little reason to do so personally, how much more guilt should we share given the scientifically verifiable value of socialisation and its devaluation within a class/national-based system that lauds the one over all and turns opportunism into a virtue. What potential developmental trajectories are opened up within such a milieu that necessarily causes the leash to snap every once in a while whilst restraining a self-absorbed rabidity that is quite definitive of the ‘modernity’ of contemporary times. It seems that people are always at the ready to shirk the consideration of their complicity in favour of the conviction of another so as to exonerate themselves via the latter in favour of the former.
As Rumpole of the Old Bailey would say, ‘the mind boggles’.