Is the accusation enough?

Something has been stressing me out since being engulfed in the world of Serial. Every time I read a news headline about an individual accused of a crime, I cringe. Regardless of how the investigation pans out or if the person admits guilt or even if he or she is found completely innocent, wrongly accused – for the rest of his or her life, archived articles and headlines will link to this accusation of criminal activity.

I’m not sure if we can or if we should stop doing this, but if I were to be accused of something (particularly that I didn’t do), I would seriously hate to know that (1) all of my neighbors and coworkers can now think I was guilty but “got off” and (2) if I apply for a job or join a dating site (HA!) or whatever, my name is linked to criminal activity.

Aren’t we innocent until proven guilty, here? Simply being accused or even charged with a crime doesn’t mean you are guilty, or will be found guilty. But in the eyes of the media, and your community, the damage is done. I think this is particularly troublesome in cases involving sex-related crimes. News that a teacher is accused of inappropriate conduct with a student is striking, shocking, awful. Now, I don’t have statistics, and maybe 98% of the time, that teacher is totally guilty and deserves public scorn on top of legal action. But maybe some people’s lives have been ruined by false or misunderstood situations, and we’re so quick to get “the news” that we don’t consider the consequences for, potentially, the rest of those people’s lives.

Like I said, maybe it’s just part and parcel of the Free Press we enjoy in the US. I just really hope no one ever falsely accuses* me of anything, and then my name gets published in an article, and then 40 years later, somebody won’t give me a chance because they Googled my name and found damaging information. That’s all.

UPDATE: Holy smokes! We've raised $200 for St. Jude! Great work, team!! Thank you! Last night's 4 mile run was soooo sweaty, and I definitely have jelly legs today. I was so proud to be running for the people supporting me, though! I ran (legitimately RAN) 3 of the 4 miles. #PluckyRuns

*Definitely NOT suggesting people just run around falsely accusing people for the fun of it. Just pointing to something I feel is a flaw in an otherwise dandy system of reporting and information sharing.

Sarah :: Plucky in Love

Sarah, aka "Plucky", blogs on the reg, unless she's on vacation or there's a Pretty Little Liars marathon or she's mulling over the implications of the phrase "on fleek." She can't live without iced coffee, a portable phone charger, or equal pay. Say hello!

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