Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Let us leave judgment for the courts

Published:Saturday | January 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM


So, Hampton School Principal Heather Murray was at the pastor's bail hearing, not for the accused, but for his wife, her friend. A noble though ill-advised gesture. Apparently, she sought to support her friend, but appeared in the eyes of the public to be supporting the accused. As a public figure, she might have done better to give behind-the-scenes support.

In fairness, all this is easy to see in retrospect. Also, isn't it still the case that one should be presumed innocent until proven guilty? And isn't it the case that it is the exclusive prerogative of the courts to determine one's guilt or innocence? Now here's a teaser: what would be so terribly wrong with supporting an innocent individual? It is hard to ignore the haste of the court of public opinion in sentencing all involved in this issue.

I believe the press, the leading prosecutor in this public court, needs to be cautious about pre-empting the work of the true court, but must monitor the adjudication of the cases that come before it (the true court). It must aggressively assess the quality of the evidence that is brought before it, and call out every suspected breakdown.

Sure, I'm as incensed as anyone with any shred of decency that our young girls are preyed upon. This and other such atrocities must be met with the greatest force necessary to protect all our children. But for the sake of justice, let's do it properly.

Charles Evans