On today’s front page, we feature three stories about people being arrested for various alleged crimes. In all three cases, we name the accused and include their photographs. Two of the accused men are well known in the community -- one is a businessman; the other, an elected official.
As we did recently in an editorial about the investigation into some arson cases, we are not stating in this or any other story that accused persons are guilty of the crimes they allegedly committed. We will say again, we are lucky to live in a country where one is innocent until proven guilty and that the burden of proof rests with the state.
So, we want to make it clear that all three of the men featured in today’s edition -- regardless of whatever their standing in the community -- are not guilty of anything yet. For us to state that they are, they must either plead guilty at a hearing or be found guilty by a jury of their peers at the conclusion of a trial.
This goes for anyone we include in a crime story, whether on the front page or as part of our Camden, Elgin or County crime reports. It does not matter if we name them or not, include their picture or not.
Until we can appropriately publish otherwise, they are accused, not guilty.