Is Marlene Obsessed with this Case?
September 26, 2004
Recently, a group of individuals speculated about my involvement in this case, calling it an obsession. Unlike Nancy Grace, they said, Marlene isn't being paid to cover the trial. They speculated on various things they thought I would hope to gain from the trial -- including a romantic relationship with Scott Peterson.
Merriam-Webster defines obsession:
a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling
So, I am not at all surprised that this group labels my interest
in this case an obsession. To them, presumption of innocence is indeed an
unreasonable idea or feeling.
And that's unfortunate because presumption of innocence is not only a Constitutional protection, it is the substance of several basic principles:
what goes around, comes around
with what measure you mete, shall be measured to you again
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
And, presumption of innocence is the best assurance that the guilty will be punished. Think about it. Every time a person is falsely accused, the guilty person is free to commit other crimes. Every time an innocent person is convicted, the guilty person is free to commit other crimes.
And think about the costs involved when the innocent are charged, tried, and convicted. Millions of dollars wasted -- and all the while the guilty are free to commit other crimes. Even more than that, innocent lives are destroyed.
Just what does presumption of innocence mean? For the general public, it means that each of us withholds judgment about guilt until all the evidence has been presented in a public trial.
It means we don't come to a conclusion of guilt based on pre-trial publicity. As we have seen over and over in this case, what was reported in the early months of the investigation has been proven either false or grossly exaggerated. Yet, those opinions once formed are nigh impossible to change.
Yes, I invest much time and money in this website, the Talk About It discussion forum, and attendance at Trial. I have no financial backer, no one signing a paycheck or footing my bills.
So why do I do it? Because I want in some way to effect some much needed change in these areas:
Awareness among the American public that they benefit more
from a presumption of innocence mentality than from presumption of guilt.
More media accountability and more investigative journalism
instead of sensational speculation.
Some reform in the way Police Departments investigate crime,
not allowing investigators to commit crimes and violate personal rights in
order to solve crimes.
Accountability at the city and county levels for the way
suspects are investigated, charged, and tried.
Some increase in the various burdens that must be met to
move a suspect along the way to trial: probable cause can be sufficient to
get a search warrant, but more should be required to get an arrest warrant,
and even more to bind the suspect over for trial.
State legislative reform that entitles every person charged
with a crime access to experts equivalent to the experts used by the State
to bring its case to trial. Such access to be paid from State funds.
And last, but not least, putting a stop to the practice of identifying an individual as a "person of interest" in order to avoid Constitutional and Court-ordered rights granted to "suspects."
Will I write a book? One is already being written, and read by
thousands. It's this website.