Friday, August 12, 2016

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

Posted by Bob, aka Robert Klitzkie

On a recent Sunday some rather inflammatory remarks were attributed to a priest who used them at the end of his homily. It was reported that in addition to some incendiary vocabulary the priest also trotted out that tired old truism, “He is innocent until proven guilty.” Implicit in the phrase are the additional words, “in a court of law.” 

There is much to like about the maxim, “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”  Any person on trial for a crime can take a great amount of comfort from the maxim.  It’s right up there with, “It’s better that one hundred go free than that we hang one innocent man.” For Mr. Joe Ordinary or Ms. Alma Average the two maxims are about equally useful or…useless.  Unless Joe or Alma is on trial for a crime the maxims have no applicability to them.

A criminal trial can result in the loss of liberty for the defendant. In some jurisdictions a criminal trial can result in the death penalty.  So when the life or liberty of a person is at stake extremely high standards are a good thing even when the occasional John Gotti can skate.



You won’t find the magic “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law” language anywhere in the Constitution. In fact, you won’t even find “guilty” or “innocent” which shouldn’t surprise because a criminal case doesn’t even determine “innocence.” Only a guilty/not guilty verdict comes from a jury in a criminal case.

The maxim is an important aspect of our criminal justice system but only very gullible people would conduct themselves on an, “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” basis.  Here’s an example: 

The till at Joe’s Cup o’ Joe comes up about $30 short everyday that Ima Crook is the cashier.  No one but Ima has access to the cash register and Joe maintains an accurate cash count.  Joe complained to Alma, “I’m going broke.  Every day that Ima works I’m short about thirty bucks.” Alma chuckled as she said to Joe, “You haven’t fired Ima yet?” Joe reacted in righteous horror as he said, “Alma, Ima hasn’t been found guilty in a court of law! How can I fire her? How could you suggest such a thing! Ima’s innocent till proven guilty in a court of law.”

Of course the point is that it is nonsensical to use the appropriately extreme high standard applied to criminal trials to the important decisions that we cannot avoid as we proceed through life. We have to make decisions dealing with credibility,  truthfulness, validity and even culpability in accordance with our own lights by evaluating such evidence as is available, circumstances, our understanding of human nature, credibility of those involved and an absence of gullibility like the kind that will put Joe’s Cup o’ Joe out of business.
 

[Bridge for sale; Manhattan-Brooklyn, no down; easy terms; no credit check. Contact Bernie Madoff, FCI, Butner, NC.]

O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of the murder of his wife, Nicole, and an unfortunate waiter named Ron Goldman who happened to be in the wrong place
at the wrong time. If you watched the trial on television or the recent TV reprises you developed your own sense of whether OJ “did it.” The jury found OJ not guilty—end of story, right? Nope, wrong. In a civil case brought by families of Nicole and Goldman the jury found Simpson liable to for $35.5 million for the wrongful deaths. So where was Joe Ordinary with his mantra, “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law?”  The maxim was no help to OJ because civil cases are far different.

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments provide a plethora of protections for defendants in criminal cases, e.g. the right against self incrimination, protection against double jeopardy, right to counsel (even for indigents), due process and of course a presumption of innocence, none of which are available to defendants in civil cases.

Civil cases are cut from different cloth from criminal cases. Wrap all the constitutional protections up in a package, nicely tied together with legal red tape and you have a criminal justice system that makes it difficult to deprive people of their life or liberty even before one considers that the package is sometimes duly  ventilated with loopholes. 

The passage of time provides what some consider a loophole.  If Ima Crook quit her job at Joe’s Cup o’ Joe on suspicion that one of her coworkers was about to rat her out, prosecution for theft might lie. However that possibility has an expiration date. If the cops wait too long even Ima’s signed confession wouldn’t allow for prosecution because the statute of limitations would have run. Committing a criminal offense in such a manner that discovery of the crime is properly attenuated comes very close to the legendary commission of a perfect crime because passage of the requisite amount of time bars prosecution forever.

A realistic appraisal of the maxim, “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” is that it something of great benefit to criminal defendants and to society as a whole in that it is one of the bulwarks of protection of our liberty from the occasional vicissitudes of our government. If, however, you treasure the meter of the maxim to the point that it is your touchstone to guide you through everyday life; better you don’t open a coffee shop.

And when someone attempts to persuade you that you must conform your activities, dealings with others, judgments and perceptions to an “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” standard, watch out! That someone is trolling for gullibility.


When I sat down to work on this post I was going to set forth all of the priest’s inflammatory rhetoric, identify the church and the time and day of the Mass. Of course I was going to identify the priest by name.

Then I came to my senses.  After all:

 “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

29 comments:

  1. I heard Jucatan' s inflammatory rhetoric 2 Sunday's ago @ the 7 PM Mass at the Agana Cathedral-Basilica. I don't need a court of law to tell me that I was there, saw him, and heard him tell the church goers how he believes Apuron is innocent, and that accusations against Apuron are works of the devil.

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    1. Thank you, C. Felix. Any other eye, better yet, ear, witnesses want come forward?

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    2. At the 11:30 a.m. Mass, Jucutan sneaked his comments in at the very end of his homily (if you can call it that). He said something about how the Archbishop is being persecuted by so many people, when in fact, he is innocent! Innocent because he declared in front of the Holy Father that he did not do these things that people were accusing him of doing. (So I'm thinking Fr. Mike NEVER lied to his earthly father?!) What a simpleton!

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    3. Anymore "ear witnesses" out there?

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    4. Rose de los Reyes (Seattle, WA)September 22, 2016 at 2:39 PM

      There were three or four accounts written in Junglewatch about Fr. Jucutan addressing this issue in a homily. I forgot the title of the piece under which comments of this observation were written but it was somewhere around Sept. 12 or 13. T

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  2. Junglewatch Nation folks test pretty low on the gullibility index.

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  3. Janet B - MangilaoAugust 12, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    My Grandma was a very wise woman. I was once caught with my hand in the cookie jar, and tried to deny it using the infamous "innocent until proven guilty by a court of law" defense.

    She lovingly sat me down and explained that if I did it, I was guilty. And if I didn't do it, I was innocent. No court of law could change that fact. As a seven year old, I understood this lesson.

    For Fr Michael, bless his simple mind for his attempt to defend this serial sex abuser, Apurun. But be sure of this Fr Michael Jucutan, Apurun is either guilty or he is innocent, and no court of law can change that fact. A court can only dispense a penalty if they believe a person is guilty. Do you get it?

    There is only one who can judge without error. But since "God loves you just the way you are", kiko nuts might have a hard time believing in the final judgement.

    Add to that the fact that Apurun can never be tried for these alleged crimes because a statute of limitations prevents this, a court will never have the opportunity to try him in criminal court. Let us hope the legislature does the right thing to allow Apurun to face civil court.

    But until that happens, Apurun is still innocent or guilty, regardless of some future verdict. And like most coherent people with a working brain, we will come to the same conclusion as Vince Pereda.

    Apurun is a serial sexual predator.

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    1. The Jucatan is pathetic. Wherever Hon may transfer him he won't be up to the task. Here is a prime example of what Frenchie is revealing about the difference between RMS Guam and real seminaries.

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    2. Janet B., Grandma and Vince make a formidable team.

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    3. Glad to be back in Holy Mother ChurchAugust 12, 2016 at 10:31 AM

      Fr Micjael had better watch out, or he may replace one of those 50 John Does in the court documents. Calling the victims who have come forward "works of the devil" seems to me to be far worse than just calling them liars, as Apurun, Fr OJ, Fr Adrian have done. Calling their accusations such evil is a clear attempt by the Church (through one of its' ordained ministers) to bully other victims into submission and silence.

      This tactic has been a familiar one for the people of Guam from a Church unwilling to protect our kids. If Hon doesn't sanction Fr Michael, then it is a clear indication that this action is condoned and encouraged by the Church.

      We'll see where Hon's loyalty is at...with victims rights, or with bully priests who will protect a serial sex abuser at all costs.

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    4. Glad that your back, 10:31 AM. Your remarks are right on point.

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  4. Someone should check with Bernie to see if Fr. Michael put down a deposit on the bridge.

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  5. Who are the John does in the court documents?

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  6. Ah yes...Jacutan. He is the priest that informed one of the Diaconate Candidates that for his PENANCE, he needs to attend their Friday "JOY" meeting. Yes...truly half baked. In outright denial. What did Apurun do for HIM I wonder.

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  7. The gift that keeps on giving, Neo Presbyters. Tag Jucatan, you are now a "Doe".

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  8. Fr.Pius expected to leave Guam.
    Once he leaves he will not return.
    According to Fr.Pius he does not acknowledge the legal system on Guam. He also considers Atty Lujan as a " ambulance lawyer" making money from his seminary. Pius will defy Guam courts.

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    1. Yo Pius, Take Frank Zappa's Cosmik Debris as my going-away serenade. Kumbayah dude.

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    2. Like most bullies, he is a coward. What he is very concerned, is to be deposed in a law suit, under oath.
      Plus he is also apparently one of the people being sued.

      So as he did in Malta, Pius the putrid, shall run away, again. The itinerant is becoming a wandering monk. Soon he will have not place to hide. Perhaps, our good friend Bishop Balin can invite him into Qatar

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  9. If Putrid Pius is one of the persons named in the lawsuits of apuron's sex abuse victims, can he escape the reach of the law by just leaving the island?
    Can he be brought back, voluntarily or involuntarily, for his day in court?

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    Replies
    1. If he is in an American jurisdiction yes. On the other side if he goes to a place where American jurisdiction does not reach, he is free to laugh it away.

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    2. You mean to say, Frenchie, that FATHER Pius the lying thief of souls and money will just run away? With no accountability?

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    3. Oh, thr liar will just say he is sick and can't travel.

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    4. Yes, but he can never come back to American soil, Yes? Then, maybe it is we who will have the last laugh.

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    5. Well anon at 5.18, that would fit with his past history.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Listening to his sermon this past Sunday, I was perplexed, he was all over the place and going nowhere! I asked where Michael came from and I was told Hawaii. I was puzzled then, but now I understand, Michael was indoctrinated by the Sam the Nut at RMS. That said, Fr. Michael cannot think for himself, he's a Kiko Parrot!
      What in heavens name is Putrid putting in the water at RMS? KAKA for sure.

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  11. Mike is a joke and never should have been ordained by Apuron.

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  12. Apuron was forced to ordain. By PIUS.

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  13. I remember once when I attended his mass with my 10 year old child. She looked up at me after Jucutan's homily and whispered in my ear "huh?" Even my 10 year old realized his sermon was nonsensical and all over the place. That was the last time I attended his mass.

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