Friday, September 11, 2015

Liberalism - Slogans, not rules.

When did liberals stop liking the presumption of innocence?

First, liberals toss freedom of speech under the bus.

Now, it is presumption of innocence.

What's next? Due process?

Reason’s Robby Soave reviews Polis’ statements and Joe’s apt response:
[Polis said] “It certainly seems reasonable that a school for its own purposes might want to use a preponderance of evidence standard, or even a lower standard. Perhaps a likelihood standard…. If I was running a (private college) I might say, well, even if there is only a 20 or 30 percent chance that it happened, I would want to remove this individual.”
Cohn responded that a burden of proof standard even lower than the preponderance of evidence standard would unquestionably violate students’ due process rights. The preponderance of evidence standard is itself an abridgment of due process unless it is accompanied by balancing factors such as cross-examination, subpoena power, and competent judges and juries, according to Cohn.
Astonishingly, Polis continued down this line of thought:
[“]It seems like we ought to provide more of a legal framework, then, that allows a reasonable likelihood standard or a preponderance of evidence standard. If there are 10 people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people.We’re not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we’re talking about them being transferred to another university, for crying out loud.”
(Emphasis [Soave’s].) That last line drew applause from the crowd.
As Joe pointed out, students expelled for sexual assault find that the “rapist” label follows them for life, hindering their professional careers and other goals. And many lawmakers are pushing for exactly this result, with legislation designed to make obvious to recipients of a student’s transcript when that student has been punished for (or has an unresolved investigation for) sexual assault. Of course, if the student actually committed the crime, this result is appropriate. But to do as Polis suggests and derail a student’s life because of the mere accusation that he or she might have done something wrong—without a majority of the evidence pointing to his or her guilt, and even with the vast majority pointing to his or herinnocence—is irretrievably incompatible with basic principles of fairness and justice.

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