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Do you think "allegedly" guilty should be used in every case?

My husband is stationed at Fort Hood, and as many of you know, we had a tragic incident here back in November. Today, the trial begins for the man who (as all news and legal documents must state) "allegedly" shot and killed 13 people and wounded over 30 more. I am a peaceful, non-violent person, but something about that phrasing has rubbed me the wrong way. Political correctness has gone way too far when a building full of people witnesses a man shoot over 40 people, and we must refer to him as "allegedly" guilty. I am all for "right to a fair trial", but sometimes the "justice" system in this country spends so much time in paperwork and "by the book", that they forget what their real job is. I just think that, in cases like this, there is no such thing as "innocent until proven guilty".

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:45 AM on Jun. 1, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (16)
  • The way our juducial system works is that "everyone" is resumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, it applies to all of us without exception, although at times the system does not always work it is the best system out there beleive it or not. Everyone has the right to judicial procedure, that is just the way it is.

    Answer by older at 10:09 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • Unfortunetly thats the reason people go on trial for crimes. They can't say that they are without a doubt guilty before hand because that takes away the rights of the fair trial even though the actions speak for themselves.

    Answer by sam123333 at 10:11 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • I understand where your coming from, this man is guilty and will be found guilty and why go through all this, it seems so unneccessary. Not to mention it seems insulting to all that were involved to use the term allegedly guitly. But where do you draw the line between the obviously guilty and the possibly innocent? If we start drawing lines then more innocent are going to get caught in the middle. Innocent people do still get found guilty with the system , but it is the best one we have. And unfortunatly that means calling the obviously guilty, "alleged" until their trial.

    Answer by AutumnLybbie at 10:23 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • Yes what the pp's said that's the reason; but in this particular case; there is no allegedly. There are how many eye witness'? I have no problem with him getting a full trial; but there's no doubt HE did this. WHY he did it may still be indoubt; etc but there is no doubt about him pulling the trigger.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:27 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • Don't worry, everyone knows he did it. It doesn't matter whether "allegedly" did it or not. We know he did.

    Answer by acurran88 at 10:34 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • In most cases, where there is only suspicion of guilt, it is necessary to use the term 'alleged'. It is part of our justice system ,designed to protect the innocent who might have been set up or mistakenly identified as a perpetrator of a crime. I agree with it. And it has nothing to do with being PC. Now this guy at Ft Hood was seen shooting people and it is still important that he have a trial . We don't need to consider that a "PC" issue.

    Answer by gertie41 at 10:39 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • May I offer an answer as a journalist?

    It is NOT political correctness. You cannot say one is guilty until that person is convicted by a jury of their peers. That is a journalistic standard. NOT doing so violates libel and slander rules. EVERY person is allowed that; there have been plenty of "killers" who turned out NOYT to be killers. Look up the Innocence Project sometime.

    Doesn't matter about eyewitnesses. ONLY the verdict matters. Until he is found guilty by a jury of his peers, it alleged and he is the accused killer.

    Even when John Gardner confessed to killing Chelsea King and Amber Dubois in San Diego, we could not say he was the killer until the plea was formally entered in court. Doing ANYTHING else could have opened us to lawsuits.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:51 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • But to add to that...I had a boss who said, "I allege that allegedly is alleged too often." Or something like that. It's a HORRIBLE word to use. I try to use "accused" instead.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:53 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • "Accused" would be a better word to use. Even more so in a case like this. To say that Hasan is "allegedly" guilty seems like a slap in the face to his surviving victims and the families of those who died.

    Answer by KarmicChild at 11:46 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

  • It's just more PC. There are times when someone is not outrightly proven to be guilty and saying so would be wrong. The proof would come out in the case. This guy IS guilty, he did it and everyone knows it. There were many people who witnessed it, ran from it or were killed or injured during it. There is no reason to use allegedly in this case. Anyone insisting it be used is just to PC

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 11:48 AM on Jun. 1, 2010

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