As complex as our legal system can be, most readers will recognize the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” By design, our criminal justice system favors the accused. Think momentarily about what it means for the government to remove our fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — even temporarily — through imprisonment. This is an immense power, and it is why our court system both maintains a presumption of innocence and requires the state to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that a criminal defendant is guilty before removing one of us from society.
We need more expungement, not less
April 19, 2022