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accused

Accused is the past tense of the verb accuse.

Accused can also be used as a noun, in which case it means the person who has been accused in a criminal case.

Some people on the far right of the political spectrum like to shout at very high decibel levels, with steam billowing out of their ears how, about how the rights of the victim should absolutely always trump the rights of the accused whenever the two conflict. Um, no.

I would absolutely and without reservation agree that, where they conflict, the rights of the victim should always trump the rights of the guilty, but the accused? No. Not always.

Our criminal justice system assumes innocence until proven guilty, not merely until accused. I support that. That’s just. Otherwise, why have trials at all? Instead, throw everyone who’s been accused of anything in jail and be done with it. That would save hundreds of millions—probably billions—in court costs and legal fees. But it would be wrong. Horribly wrong.

Accused and guilty are not synonyms. In fact, there have been notable cases of people who have not only been accused, but also convicted, who were later proven to have been innocent. Taking away the rights of an accused who may be innocent in no way restores the rights of the victim that were abused as a result of the crime.

Damn. My intent was that all of the entries here would at least make an attempt a humor, even if the attempt failed. I didn’t make much of an attempt this time, did I? Sorry about that.

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