LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Challenging Coons on the presumption of guilt

A few weeks ago I wrote to Sen. Coons to express my deep concern about his public statements regarding the accusations against the nominee for the Supreme Court (Brett Kavanaugh).

Sen. Coons stated publicly on TV that the accused (the nominee) must prove that he was innocent so I challenged that statement because the very foundation of our judicial system has always been based on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I mentioned that description of presumption of innocence several times in my letter.

The reason for this open challenge has resulted from the reply I received from Sen. Coons dated Oct. 10, 2018.

In his correspondence he did not address his statement one time nor even mention the primary subject of my letter. Rather he did nothing more than what would be considered the politically correct thing to do and talk only about the hearing, how he colluded with Sen. Flake to delay to hearing and how, after getting his wish for an FBI investigation, his refusal to accept the results of that investigation.

His refusal of the FBI investigation alluded to the incompetence and lack of thoroughness on the part of the FBI to the point that it did nothing to provide any conclusive evidence on which to base a judgment or even a conclusion that satisfied the senator.

Therefore, I challenge the senator to openly and in print to provide to the citizens of Delaware exactly where he stands on the issue of presumption of innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt versus a presumption of guilt until proven innocent, the latter being exactly what he stated during the TV interview.

When you state that the accused must prove their innocence based purely on an accusation you are stating that you support presumption of guilt over presumption of innocence. So, I again request and challenge Sen. Coons to provide the citizens of Delaware his position on this issue by answering these few items in this publication:

What is your position based on the following?

1. Presumption of guilt over presumption of innocence but only when it involves persons or nominees for high government position or

2. Presumption of guilt but only when it involves an accusation by a female of sexual misconduct by a male or

3. Presumption of guilt for any criminal or civil accusation and you no longer support the presumption of innocence in any situation or

4. Presumption of guilt but only when the accused is a member of an opposition political group or

5. Presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in “all” criminal and/or civil situations?

The citizens of Delaware require a simple “I support #?” or “I do not support #?” or even a simple Yes or No to each example would be acceptable.

And while this challenge is directed primarily to Sen. Coons it would also be very informative and helpful to all Delaware citizens if Sen. Carper and Congresswoman Blunt-Rochester would accept this challenge and submit their position on these questions. Are they all together on this issue or is there a difference of opinion? It would be nice to know, right?

Joe Schell

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