Innocent Until Proven Guilty

In the United States we are proud that our justice system assumes that people accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty. The media and our politicians make a point of stating that those accused of the most horrific crimes are not guilty until proven a jury finds that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is one of the things that makes us the greatest nation the world has ever known. Of course, what no one wants to talk about is that it is only true for civilians. It is certainly not true for members of the armed forces accused of sexual assault.

Consider the recent arrest of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski. He stands accused of getting drunk late one night and sexually assaulting a stranger in a parking lot. The police claim that the woman was able to fight him off. He had scratches and abrasions on his face when arrested in the area later that night. The case has received a lot of attention because Krusinski is in charge of the Air Force's sexual assault prevention program.

While the known facts do not look good for Krusinski, he should still be assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. He has a clean record in the military, and as Senator Claire McCaskill stated, "It is hard for me to believe that somebody could be accused of that behaviaor with a complete strangerand not have anything in his file." Unfortunately, the Senator is not assuming that Krusinski is innocent. No, she is upset with the military for not knowing that Krusinski would commit the crime she has already convicted him of in her mind. In other words, if you put on a uniform and are accused of sexual assault you are guilty until proven innocent.

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