Innocent Until…Unless We Say Differently

An article from the Guardian about a petition by some Arizona State University students caught my eye.

Apparently, several groups  Students for Socialism ASU, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition and Mecha de ASU, want the university to withdraw Kyle Rittenhouse from his enrollment in an online program at ASU.

“Our campus is already unsafe as is and we would like to abate this danger as much as possible,” a spokesperson for Students for Socialism ASU told Fox News in a statement. “The goal of these demands is to let the ASU administration know that we do not feel safe knowing that a mass shooter, who has expressed violent intentions about ‘protecting property’ over people, is so carelessly allowed to be admitted to the school at all.”

See above link to article.

Where do I begin?

This is not a defense of Rittenhouse, who I suspect is a misguided pawn in the rightwing world, but it is a defense of the basic premise of our justice system.

Like it or not, Mr. Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges. He went into the justice system bearing the undeniable mantel of innocence and, after trial, was found not guilty. To demand he be withdrawn because some lunatic fringe leftist groups are “afraid” is laughable on its face.

If they are “afraid” of the environment at ASU, then they are free to withdraw and find a “safe” place for them to espouse their philosophy without facing criticism. I hope they find such a haven. But if they expect such tolerance of their positions to be based on excluding all others, they aren’t going to find it in this country.

Mr Rittenhouse, until such time as he stands convicted of a crime, is entitled to the same rights and privileges as any other American citizen. Nothing could be further from the spirit or letter of the law in this country than to demand a person suffer consequences for a crime they have been judged not guilty.

Perhaps, instead of demanding the withdrawal of an innocent student and submitting idiotic petitions, they should spend a few moments and actually read the Constitution.

Leave a Reply