Maybe I should turn these “is/does” titles into a series.
Anyway, an interesting tidbit via Grits-for-Breakfast about an upcoming law review article taking issue with the “innocence movement’s” “binary” approach to factual and legal innocence. The article will apparently find fault with this because “legal innocence” should not be differentiated from “factual innocence”.
Keep in mind that this is a law review article. Law review articles are a peculiar form of mental masturbation, seemingly having as their sole purpose the complication of simple things.
“Legal innocence” is predicated upon the “presumption of innocence”, a hallowed myth of the Anglo-American criminal justice system. The phrase does not appear in the constitution, but it’s regularly bandied about at criminal trials, where juries are instructed about it.
It’s like a lot of things juries are instructed about. They often don’t believe what they’re told, and neither does anyone else, and no one expects them to. The “presumption of innocence” is certainly one such, a pious bromide that we use to pat ourselves on the back for our supposed fairness. In fact, the accused is presumed by everyone to be guilty. Everyone knows this.