The following is a true story. It is a story that has been haunting me for the past 20-plus years. The reason it has been haunting me is because I may have been inadvertantly complicit in convicting a man of a serious drug charge by denying him the benefit of the principle of the presumptive innocence of a defendant in a criminal trial. I make no judgment as to the man’s actual guilt. That will be as it may. The point, rather, is that, in retrospect, I believe that we, the jury in the trial, followed the letter of what seemed in retrospect to be a very bad law and -- pursuant to that law -- presumed the man to be guilty, and that this presumption seemed to be “hard coded” into the relevant drug-possession law.
At the time, we believed we acted in good faith, because we believed o
Several times in the process of playing my role of “voice crying in the wilderness” against the plague of Trump and Trumpism, I have encountered relatively temperate and relatively reasonable Trump supporters who said that, no, they were revolted by Trump’s advocacy of violence against his critics, prejudice against Muslims, the muzzling of a free press, and his condoning of sexual assault, because, yes, they recognized the reality of offenses in all those areas against personal dignity and constitutional liberty. But … you could hear the thundering hoofbeats of the "But" all the way across the Galaxy … Trump did advocate several policies they supported. And, besides, they concluded, the Presidency was, by the design of the Framers, a pretty weak office, anyway, in fact, more or less a