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6rant6's avatar

What "crimes" do we find it easiest to assume that anyone acccused is guilty of?

Asked by 6rant6 (13700points) February 3rd, 2012

It’s political season. So there are the constant reports of so-and-so accepting money from such-and-such. It’s awfully easy to believe that there is some sort of quid pro quo given or at least expected.

Or take the case of a college professor accused of sleeping with a student. It’s awfully easy to assume it’s true and even to imagine it’s part of a pattern of behavior.

What kinds of “crime” [in quotes because these acts are not necessarily illegal] do you find yourself assuming have happened as soon as you hear an accusation?

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28 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Catholic Priest Child Molestation.

SuperMouse's avatar

Pedophilia. Whenever anyone is accused they are automatically assumed guilty until proven innocent. One example is the McMartin Preschool debacle. I remember when this was in the news, most all of Southern California wanted to send a lynch mob after these people.

Don’t get me wrong, as a parent I tend to think “better safe than sorry” but it certainly fits your criteria.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I third pedophilia as one of the crimes I tend to have a presumption of guilt about.

The other one for me wouldn’t be a crime. Anytime some family values politician is said to be unfaithful, I presume they’ve done it.

6rant6's avatar

I agree with all these.

FutureMemory's avatar

Urinating in public.

Blackberry's avatar

I understand when people try to fake their deaths to get away from their spouses :P

But, it depends on the person and the details I hear. I knew nothing about Sandusky or Paterno, but as soon as I heard the details, the answer was obvious. I try not to just randomly assume things until I hear a bit more first.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Wow @SuperMousethat link… what a read.


Those interrogators should be prosecuted. I wonder what/if their methods might cause long term psychological harm to the kids they claimed to be helping? They practically hypnotized the kids into believing they’d been molested. Just shocking.

SuperMouse's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I know right! It still boggles my mind. I vividly remember a huge majority of Southern California, including every single media outlet believing all of this and seriously asking for blood. Local talk radio was abuzz with ways to torture the McMartin/Buckey family. It was truly astounding to hear it was all just lies.

DominicX's avatar

Have to second pedophilia/child molestation. I understand why people become so hysterical about it, but its effects can be damaging, as illustrated in @SuperMouse ‘s link.

I also think rape is the same way. And of course I understand that rapes are underreported and sometimes victims are blamed, but if someone accuse someone else of rape, they’re pretty much guilty until proven innocent.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I used to think Rape until our friend was charged with it.

@SuperMouse Thanks for that link. I had not heard of the case before. Shocking!

GladysMensch's avatar

Also going with pedophilia. I had a friend who was accused of sleeping with some of his male, middle-school students. He ended up committing suicide prior to the trial. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to talk to him between the time that charges were filed and the suicide. He loved teaching and was great at it. He was immediately fired, and his face was all over the news before a trial date was even set. His education, career, and reputation was destroyed just by the accusations.

zenvelo's avatar

Domestic violence.

The new sheriff in San Francisco, who has been a public figure for a number of years, seems to have bruised his wife’s upper arm in an argument. His wife has not pressed charges, but he has been tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion, and people say he should be kicked out of office. This has all been in the last four weeks.

They also imposed a restraining order to keep him away from his wife and child, even though the wife did not want it. They have charged him with child endangerment because his son was in the house at the time and saw a part of it.

I am well aware of the reasons that charges may be brought even without the cooperation of the victim; this is because in extremely abusive cases the victim is afraid of what will happen if they testify against the abuser. But in this particular case, it seems the DA has thrown every possible charge against the Sheriff, mostly because the Board of Supervisors and most of city government has already decide he is guilty.

john65pennington's avatar

Shoplifting and you know why?

99.9% of shoplifters are guilty.

filmfann's avatar

Police Brutality
Cheating on a spouse.
Tax Fraud

Keep_on_running's avatar

When I turn the TV on at night and hear a story about another citizen allegedly “throwing a turd at a political leader” I think; “why wouldn’t this be true? Who would make this shit up?

Something like a traffic offense? Not as easy to assume guilt.

woodcutter's avatar

White collar crimes, and the defendants also believe it. Why else would they hire the best lawyers money can buy?

linguaphile's avatar

@SuperMouse I use the McMartin Cases (that exact web site) in my lessons when I talk about “The Crucible,” McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials. If history’s something to look at to predict the future, we’re about due for a new witch hunt.

In my experience, “Bad Teacher” is really easy to believe, regardless of strength of contrary evidence presented.

zenvelo's avatar

Performance Enhancing Drug Use. Any winning athlete is assumed to be dirty and just not caught yet.

Nullo's avatar

Jaywalking, data piracy.

Blackberry's avatar

Lol. I’m with @Nullo on jaywalking.

6rant6's avatar

Seems to me that racketeering, conspiracy, and price collusion seem probable. Breaking and entering, possession with intent, DUI…

Maybe I should have asked what accusations allow you to assume the accused is innocent!

Nullo's avatar

I was almost picked for a jury to determine the culpability of a guy who was caught tampering with the mail on tape, and who plead not guilty. I heard on the news the next day that he’d been tried and found guilty almost immediately.

6rant6's avatar

@Nullo Sorry, “the mail on tape”?

Nullo's avatar

@6rant6 Sorry, grammatical mishap. The sorting area had a number of cameras in it, one of which recorded this brigand tampering with the mail. The footage was presented as evidence in court, proving culpability beyond even the shadow of a doubt, permitting the swift execution of justice.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

It has recently been established that all men are guilty of rape.

Where are the stats you ask?

There are none, just one comedian heckler here, one blogger there….

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, I remember the McMartin case clearly. I had just started having kids of my own. All the rumors and Satanism and shit…..had every one scared to death!

linguaphile's avatar

In today’s climate, police brutality.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Not really seeing in the US people are indoctrinated to believe it, facts notwithstanding because the perp is billed as a monster.

However, getting outside the pedophile bubble, these days if once is accused of being a terrorist, they might as tie a millstone around their neck and jump in the sea, as they will be seen as un-American, and a threat to common, decent American citizens.

Maybe not far under that is anyone accused of murdering a cop.

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