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LETTER: Don’t name them until conviction

Letter to the editor

To the editor,

Recently deceased David Milgaard’s wrongful charge, trial, conviction and 23-year imprisonment should be concerning to any law-abiding person. However statistically unlikely, the average person could someday find themself unjustly jailed in Canada, even for the rest of their life.

“Justice” system vice likely occurs considerably more often than we can ever know of. And I’ve noticed that people tend to naively believe that such ethically-challenged courtroom prosecutorial, and even judicial, conduct can/will never happen to them. Such people fail to consider the potential flaws, even blatant ethical misconduct committed, in the law-enforcement/justice system — that great injustices are committed, both hidden and exposed.

Also, whenever I hear how relieved people are when some guy is charged with a reviled crime like pedophilia — “Did they catch him? They did? Well, that’s a relief!” — I mentally hear the phrase, “We’ll give ’im a fair trial, then we’ll hang ’im.”

And if I point out he may be the wrong guy who’s being railroaded, I could receive the erroneous refrain, “Well if he’s truly innocent, he has nothing to worry about.”

It’s why I strongly feel the news-media should refrain from publishing the identity of people charged with a crime — especially one of a repugnant nature, for which they are jailed pending trial (as is typically done) — until at least after they’ve been convicted.

Frank Sterle Jr.,

White Rock, B.C.

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