Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3253 Perp Walk

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."
-- Henry Ford --


From the Wall Street Journal law blog:

[T]here was also outrage about the photos of Mr. Strauss-Kahn cuffed in custody. While the so-called perp walk is a New York police tradition, allowing the press to get photographs of a suspect, a 2000 law in France tries to reinforce the principle of the presumption of innocence by criminalizing the publication of photos of an identifiable person in handcuffs who has not yet been convicted. [...emphasis mine...]

The former French justice minister whose name is on the law, Elisabeth Guigou, said she found the photos of Mr. Strauss-Kahn in cuffs indicative of “a brutality, a violence, of an incredible cruelty, and I’m happy that we don’t have the same judiciary system.”
I've written about how I think the French judicial system is much more sensible and fair than that of the US, in that assumption of innocence is ingrained and honored, and the purpose of a trial is to get to the truth, not to see who has the better lawyer.

I also think it's disgusting the way suspects are treated here. If the suspect is at all "famous", the police make sure there are reporters and cameras there for the arrest, they handcuff everyone in front of coworkers, family, whomever even if they are fully cooperative and unarmed, and then they are convicted in the media, regardless of the outcome of any investigation.

Why do they feel people have to be publicly embarrassed regardless of guilt? It must be because protestations to the contrary, we really do have a presumption of guilt before trial.

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