That is, at least according to one liberal website posting.1 Here's the disturbing comment found on that website, "… there is no constitutional right to the presumption of innocence."
It's amazing that those who clamor for full Constitutional rights for Guantanamo terrorists are the same ones who are ready to take Zimmerman's head now.
This is evidence enough to make an observer believe that Liberalism is a mental disorder.
The writer must have slept through Civics or Government class. Or, maybe the writer is a victim of public school education. Or, perhaps both occurred.
Most of those on that website and others don't understand the concept of the presumption of Zimmerman's innocence, unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial by jury.
Many liberals are accusing conservatives of defending George Zimmerman to the detriment of Trayvon Martin. No, if Zimmerman is guilty, then so be it. Conservatives, by and large, are actually defending the right of a trial by jury and not one by a torch and pitchfork carrying mob at midnight.
This "Presumption of innocence" right derives from the Constitution's
6th Amendment, that states, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
It also derives from common law, and state law.
Here is the actual Florida jury instruction mandated by Florida Law for criminal trials.
"2.03 PLEA OF NOT GUILTY; REASONABLE
DOUBT; AND BURDEN OF PROOF
The defendant has entered a plea of not guilty. This
means you must presume or believe the defendant is innocent.
The presumption stays with the defendant as to each material
allegation in the [information] [indictment] through each stage
of the trial unless it has been overcome by the evidence to the
exclusion of and beyond a reasonable doubt.
To overcome the defendant's presumption of innocence
the State has the burden of proving the crime with which the
defendant is charged was committed and the defendant is the
person who committed the crime.
The defendant is not required to present evidence or
Whenever the words "reasonable doubt" are used you
must consider the following:
(Note to Judge:)
It is recommended that you use this instruction to define
reasonable doubt during voir dire. State v. Wilson, 686 So.2d 569
A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt,
a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt. Such a doubt
must not influence you to return a verdict of not guilty
if you have an abiding conviction of guilt. On the other
hand, if, after carefully considering, comparing and
weighing all the evidence, there is not an abiding
conviction of guilt, or, if, having a conviction, it is one
which is not stable but one which wavers and vacillates,
then the charge is not proved beyond every reasonable
doubt and you must find the defendant not guilty
because the doubt is reasonable.
It is to the evidence introduced in this trial, and to it alone, that
you are to look for that proof.
A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the
defendant may arise from the evidence, conflict in the
evidence or the lack of evidence.
If you have a reasonable doubt, you should find
the defendant not guilty. If you have no reasonable
doubt, you should find the defendant guilty."
And. Here is the Florida jury instruction on the how the jury must evaluate evidence introduced in all Florida trials like the one Zimmerman faces.
"2.04 WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE
It is up to you to decide what evidence is reliable. You
should use your common sense in deciding which is the best
evidence, and which evidence should not be relied upon in
considering your verdict. You may find some of the evidence not
reliable, or less reliable than other evidence.
You should consider how the witnesses acted, as well as
what they said. Some things you should consider are:
1. Did the witness seem to have an opportunity to
see and know the things about which the witness
2. Did the witness seem to have an accurate
3. Was the witness honest and straightforward in
answering the attorneys' questions?
4. Did the witness have some interest in how the
case should be decided?
5. Does the witness' testimony agree with the other
testimony and other evidence in the case?
(Note to Judge:)
The instructions covered under paragraphs numbered six
through ten, inclusive, are not common to all cases. These
numbered paragraphs should be included only as required by the
6. Has the witness been offered or received any
money, preferred treatment or other benefit in
order to get the witness to testify?
7. Had any pressure or threat been used against the
witness that affected the truth of the witness'
8. Did the witness at some other time make a
statement that is inconsistent with the testimony
[he] [she] gave in court?
(Note to Judge)
The court also may wish to give as part of this instruction
the instructions covered under 2.04(a) and (b), concerning expert
witnesses and accomplices. If so, the Committee recommends that
they be given as additional numbered paragraphs, which would
precede the last two unnumbered paragraphs of this instruction.
9. Was it proved that the witness had been
convicted of a crime?
10. Was it proved that the general reputation of the
witness for telling the truth and being honest
You may rely upon your own conclusion about the
witness. A juror may believe or disbelieve all or any part of the
evidence or the testimony of any witness."
The presumption of guilt until the Defendant proves himself innocent is used in France and in other countries that use the old Napoleonic Code.