Let me give you an additional example that shows how the media colludes with the government in prosecuting those who have been accused.‚ On Monday, November 24th after my arrest the previous Friday, Ron Wilburn, former partner in the Dejavu Restaurant gave an interview to Adrian Walker of the Boston Globe.
In the interview, he told Mr. Walker that the US Attorney had approved for presentation to the court an affidavit that contained lies. He pointed out that he did not go to the FBI. In fact, the FBI came and recruited him. In addition, he pointed out that in the Wilkerson case, he did not know of incidents of her taking bribes even though the affidavit said that he had said that he did to the FBI.‚ He also said that there should be other arrests made given his knowledge of the situation.
Yet, the media has barely mentioned Mr. Wilburn’s accusations. Even Howie Carr, self proclaimed protector of the public good and‚ verbal slayer of public officials who betray their trust has not even mumbled one word about the fact that the US Attorney’s wire is making accusations against him.
I cite these examples from my own situation to give you a sense of how the media and government collude in such cases to plant the thought of guilt in the mind of the public and make a verdict of not guilty irrelevant to public opinion. How can the principle of presumption of innocence survive if the media and prosecution are allowed to work together on the presumption of guilt of those who have not yet been tried?
Therefore, I am asking you to convene a committee to examine the ethics of the media and government distributing and discussing the “evidence” in the court of public opinion before it has been presented in a court of law where the lawyers of those accused can have an opportunity to question its validity.
In your charge to the committee, I would urge you to ask them to specifically consider the following points:
1.‚ ‚ ‚ The need for state legislation to provide additional protections for the presumption of innocence beyond those in the Constitution and in the Criminal and Administrative Codes.
2.‚ ‚ ‚ State legal policy should be significantly reformed to promote respect for the presumption of innocence among state officials, mass media representatives, and citizens.
3.‚ ‚ ‚ Laws are needed to prevent governmental officials from making speeches or circulating materials that violate the presumption of innocence.
4.‚ ‚ ‚ Mass media outlets must be prohibited from spreading information that conflicts with the presumption of innocence.‚ Legislation should create standards of financial responsibility in order to compensate inviduals whose right to presumption of innocence has been violated.
Boston City Councilor
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