Innocent until proven guilty?

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Once upon a time, in this country I call home, people were considered innocent until their guilt had been proven.

But that was the old days. The pre-Internet days. Innocent until proven guilty no longer applies.

Don’t believe me?

Oh, then you must not have heard about the Boy Scout Perversion Files scandal that all the news agencies around here can’t stop talking about.

It seems that the Boy Scouts organization has kept a file documenting every accusation of impropriety within their ranks. The file goes back to the 1960s.

A judge ordered that the files be made public, so they have been put up on the Internet for all to see. I think the idea is that if you hide wrong-doing, the wrong-doers have the opportunity to reoffend elsewhere.

But here’s the deal. These names that have been released are names of people ACCUSED of wrong-doing, not necessarily names of people PROVEN of wrong-doing.

Get the difference?

Each and every name on that list represents a person who is being labeled as guilty, whether anything had been proven or not. Even worse, since this goes back to the 1960s, some of those names represent people who have died, leaving the icky cloud of unsubstantiated guilt hanging over the heads of their children.

Some justice.

I believe in protecting children, but I also know that we do not live in a perfect world. False accusations are sometimes leveled against perfectly innocent people for a variety of reasons.

Someone seems to have forgotten that accusations do not necessarily equal guilt.

And someone has also forgotten that posting a list on the Internet is not the same as posting a piece of paper in the village green.

Accusation equals guilt, published to all. No court date needed.

The new law of the land.

What do you think?