Opinion: Brazil’s Presumption of Guilt – a Smidgen

Opinion, by Michael Royster

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The decision by Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) to permit judges to incarcerate criminals whose convictions have been affirmed by a court of appeals, has been excoriated as violative of the “presumption of innocence”. The Curmudgeon submits that the critics have got it entirely wrong, and that the prior position—convicted criminals can remain free as long as their appeals last—is rather a “presumption of guilt”.

The prior position first presumes that lower court judges ALWAYS convict innocent defendants. It then presumes that three-judge panels of appellate courts ALSO err . . .

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