Who Must Presume Whom to Be Innocent of What?
Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Forthcoming
19 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 17, 2012
This paper considers the roles that may be played by a “presumption of innocence” outside the criminal trial — a presumption that reflects a general principle of civic trust. We can understand the significance of this presumption, and the ways in which it can be qualified (without being defeated) by attending to some of the normative roles that citizens might take on, or have imposed on them, in relation to the criminal law, and the responsibilities or duties that attach to those roles. Particular attention is paid to the distinctive roles of “defendant” and of “ex-offender”, and to the question of whether it can be consistent with the presumption of innocence to treat either defendants or those who have completed their punishments as, if not guilty, at least far from unqualifiedly innocent.
Keywords: presumption of innocence, civil trust, defendants' rights and responsibilities, bail, ex-offenders
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