The debacle now facing Illinois due to their governor’s arrest reveals the conflict between the demands of our political system and our rule of law. Everyone knows the basic tenet of our judicial system that we are “Innocent until proven guilty.” However, now it appears that being charged has become tantamount to being guilty. What happened to the governor’s right to his day in court? After all, undermining the rights of anyone, even a governor, reduces Constitutional protections that all of us would need if charges were made against any one of us!
No one is arguing the illegality nor the immorality in attempting to sell a senate seat. But, did he actually do that? We won’t know until the verdict is read. And, even then, sometimes justice goes awry because the judge can make bad rulings on evidence or the jury can be blinded by tangential issues.
However, we have to at least try to let the system work. And, throwing someone out of office, based on an arrest warrant, is not the way our system is supposed to work. So, is the governor guilty — without a trial — or is he innocent until PROVEN guilty?