18. July 2007 · Comments Off on Trial by Media · Categories: General

Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember the fundamental premise of American law – that we are innocent until proven guilty. Oh, I remember it well enough when it’s someone I like being accused of something, but if it’s someone I don’t like, then as soon as I hear of an indictment, I want to jump on the bandwagon, yelling “Crucify him/her!”

Sometimes the crime is so disgusting that even if I have no opinion of the person involved, I start dreaming up punishment before the trial has even begun.

The newest example of that, for me, is Michael Vick. Apparently, he plays for the Atlanta Falcons (I don’t follow sports, so he means nothing to me), and has a large home in Virginia. Earlier this year, a relative of his was arrested for holding dog-fights on the VA property. Vick swore up and down he was not involved, that his relative lived on the property, not him, etc.

Well, last night on the news, one of the big stories was that Michael Vick has been indicted for dog-fighting. The indictment is more detailed than that – conspiracy, illegal gambling, taking fighting dogs across state lines, etc.

On the news, they showed the dog pens with the pit-bull-looking dogs, and they talked about the methods used when the dogs who weren’t good enough to fight were put down.

Let’s just say they were NOT humanely euthanised.

I had to change the channel – what I heard described in the news story was every bit as offensive to me as the reports of Saddam Hussein’s human shredders. I’m certain you can find the details online if you want.

I was SO angry last night – all I wanted to do was treat Vick the same way those dogs were treated.

But you know what? Technically, he’s innocent, no matter what I might think, no matter how disgusted I am by what has happened, until there is a trial and he’s convicted (if he is), he’s innocent.

But to watch the news story last night, he might as well have already been convicted. Why is that?

Comments closed.