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This article is presently a stub; will add more later. at least I made a start Crawiki (talk) 12:57, 31 January 2018 (UTC)


Presumption of guilt appears to be motivated by factors like security, dissatisfaction with legal process, fear, prejudice, coat cutting, aggression, racism, sexism. Will do some research, definitely explanatory section required. Anyone wish to add to that list? Crawiki (talk) 10:16, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Cost not coat! Crawiki (talk) 10:16, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Nuclear ArmageddonEdit

Is this the ultimate presumption of guilt? I e the human race is deemed to be too wicked to be allowed to live? Crawiki (talk) 07:49, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

All men are rapistsEdit

This is a tricky subject but this section especially needs to take the other side more into account: The fact that women have generally been reluctant to report assault and harassment, and the unpleasantness of testifying in court. Rwood128 (talk) 16:59, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Having said this I do recognize that this article is very new and that it takes a greatly deal of time to create a good article and fully deal with every nuance. All the same this needs attention. Rwood128 (talk) 17:09, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I think that the following sentence should be removed: "Statistics tell us you have just laid eyes on someone guilty of sexual assault". As this was at a convocation this seems a reasonable statement, statistically speaking–it's a "crowd". Rwood128 (talk) 19:55, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree on the first comment, and the new heading is good. Will add some balancing material. On the last point, no details were given of the statistics she was quoting from. Did they relate to the population in general? If so, bear in mind the audience on this occasion was graduates only. Possibly the % of offenders would be higher, lower, I do not know. What was their gender balance? we do not know. If mostly female, it's less likely the speaker was telling the truth.
In any event, guilt is not determined by statistics. Evidence is required.Crawiki (talk) 12:09, 7 February 2018 (UTC)Crawiki (talk) 12:08, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

A fuller discussion of extreme feminist views might help resolve this, but on the surface her statement sounds (to me) reasonable. And women undergraduates do report high rates of sexual violence and harassment, at least in North America. But you point, that "guilt is not determined by statistics" is a good one. However, this needs to be brought into the discussion (with a good source).Rwood128 (talk) 21:44, 7 February 2018 (UTC)


Does the lead (WP:Lead) really do what its supposed to do? It refers to things not mentioned in the body of the article and does not refer to major points discussed. Rwood128 (talk) 11:52, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Re: In Popular CultureEdit

I may be wrong on this (as a cursory glance on Wikipedia editorial standards doesn't shed much light on the issue), but is it really appropriate to refer to the trial of Jesus in the Gospels as a matter of "popular culture?" Literature, perhaps, but popular culture simply doesn't appear the right phrase. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

Christianity is very popular, it's preached in many cultured centres of learning, what's not to like? Crawiki (talk) 16:03, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

Rampant POV, uncited opinion, personal essay, original research.Edit

A lot of this article is engaged in illustrating (by unsourced WP:OR, etc.) how awful and rotten the whole thing is, rather than encyclopedically describing what it is.

Unmentioned are situations where a defacto presumption of guilt is useful such as when the offense is small and the cost of "fighting it" is high. I.e. you pay your fine and move on with life. There's no uprising against it because the offenses are small as are the fines. The cost of big trials is saved.

In modern times, the value of presumption-of-innocence is thankfully generally accepted in cases where it matters. But, the article's anti-PofG POV needlessly overblows the matter -- as if the presumption of guilt is so very evil that the point must be driven home at all cost. It does that by using subjective descriptions ("pandemic") and endless lists of confirming examples for the point of view.

The biased selection of largely primary sources contributes to the problem. The paraphrasing of a biased selection of (primary) sources does not establish notability for them nor for the overly-negative POV. The article continues the "bashing" by going on and on (WP:undue?) about only-slightly-related similar examples, all selected to drive the "it's bad bad bad!" POV home.

The article needs one of those "reads like a personal essay " tags, and whatever similar "single POV" tags. There's lots of WP:OR too (selecting of primary sources).

It can also be fixed by simply removing all but the basic definitions. Going into example after example like it does has opened the door for selection bias and provided more opportunity for subjective phraseology.

RFinlay72 (talk) 02:02, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

RFinlay72 describes this article as 'overly-negative, bashing, subjective, full of POV' . He/she provides no evidence for this rant, and, having carefully examined the text, i can see none. There are facts, and there are the opinions of public figures, neutrally reported. The reporting of facts does not imply an editorial opinion that presumption of guilt is 'awful, rotten, bad bad bad.'. This editor alleges that pres of innocence is still present 'in cases where it matters' and that there is 'no uprising against' pres of guilt. Again, the evidence in the article prior to this hatchet (censorship?) job refutes those allegations. RFinlay72, can you provide evidence for your allegations, specifying which passages you object to, and why? Failing this, I propose reinstatement of the full text. Otherwise we have a long and detailed article on pres of innocence, and merely a stub on pres of guilt. That's unbalanced. Crawiki (talk) 17:17, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

Crawiki, you got a few things wrong about what I actually said, but that's not so important. Mostly what's important is that the article needlessly overemphasized the idea of how PofG is evil and how PofG is everywhere if you look hard enough -- and all without notability established by secondary sources. Wikipedia requires dispassionate paraphrasing of secondary sources on a subject, not passionate selection of POV-supportive primary-sourced facts.
When there is a long selection of primary-sourced facts (even if true) without a framework of secondary sources, that's original research.
Personal selection of primary-sourced facts (even if true) in support of a biased agenda violates WP:NPOV. The selected facts without exception supported the "it's evil and it's everywhere" POV.
In a cursory examination of who made most of the article, it appears to have been you. I.e., it's your personal essay (if it's anyone's). It's natural that the main author of the article would be taken aback by criticism. I don't blame you for that. It wasn't a bad article, it just wasn't an encyclopedic article. It would be more suited for publication somewhere else with different requirements for inclusion.
Your response signals that you individually hold strong opinions about the matter. Should you recuse yourself as being too close to the subject to make dispassionate encyclopedic contributions?
RFinlay72 (talk) 03:42, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Again you make sweeping allegations and assertions, not backed by evidence. Crawiki (talk) 11:44, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Also appear to be moving discussion away from article content towards discussion of myself as editor. Please desist as this violates WP: No personal attacks Crawiki (talk) 12:00, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Please don't try to misdirect with specious allegations of personal attacks. Pointing out relevant observable facts about who made most edits in a new-ish article isn't a personal attack. Arguing that the edits as a whole seem to be advancing a POV isn't a personal attack. Real ad hominem attacks are something else altogether.
A few sentences about an editor who might be too close to a subject is a valid matter for a talk page. People may digress a bit as they do, as long as they try, as civilly as they can, to bring the subject back around to the article. RFinlay72 (talk) 20:25, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

The fact that I wrote most of this article is not proof, or even evidence, that it's a 'personal essay'. Nor have you provided any evidence to support your various allegations of excess emotionality.

You've suggested that I'm unsuited to editing this article, so yes, that is a personal attack. Crawiki (talk) 05:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Two days ago I asked for evidence of your so far unsubstantiated allegation of POV bias. Which passages do you object to? Where exactly have I stated that presumption of guilt is 'evil'? Still waiting for a reply on that. Crawiki (talk) 06:05, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Plenty of evidence has been given. For example, just in one short sitting, all four of the first four entries in the "Typology" section were immediately removable for failed citation and no citation. I only tagged them to be nice, to give you or anybody else an opportunity to find proper citation (or just remove them). I only stopped fixing/tagging them last night because it was late. There's so much more work to go on that.
That sorry pattern of false citations and OR primary citations is rife throughout the whole article justifying the earlier bold reversion to a wayback version. Again, I backed off on that to give you and anyone else an opportunity to fix what's there instead.
If you don't want to try to cooperate on improving the article while instead defending and preventing changes to it, well then we'll have a big problem. Your rash defense only adds more evidence that you think it's your own "personal essay". Nobody owns any article here.
RFinlay72 (talk) 16:17, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
R Finlay72 appears to be operating to a double standard

First he complains that this article is too much my 'personal essay. Then he expects me to add even more to the content. Well, which is it to be? I cannot do both.

What is to prevent Finlay72 from doing the specified spadework himself? As it happens, since writing this article i have developed serious eyesight difficulties, requiring an operation to both eyes. That's starting later this month. Makes online editing slow and difficult. Situation appears to call for mediation. I've made enquiries.

Cease and desistEdit

Crawiki, on multiple ocassions you've edited my words on this talk page. That's outrageously disruptive. Outright bullying. You need to knock it off now. Stop the persistent allegations of so-called "personal attacks". You need to review what a personal attack really is. Then get down to work discussing civilly how to improve the article. Let's get on with it. RFinlay72 (talk) 15:31, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

WP: no personal attacks:'derogatory comments about other editors may be removed by any editor'. End of story. Crawiki (talk) 16:05, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

There's a important difference between being critical of a person's actions, and an attack on the person. You're confusing the two. "You've made some poor edits and you've behaved badly defending them" is a criticism of actions, which is not ad hominem. "You are a poopy face" would be a proper ad hominem attack. To be clear, I'm not saying "you're a poopy face", it's just an example.
Interestingly, even though being critical of actions is not ad hominem, dwelling unduly on criticism of action can be uncivil in other ways. That could be a fair point where it is the case. (Not saying it's the case anywhere, just that it's an interesting corollary.) RFinlay72 (talk) 17:39, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

Crawiki, I just reviewed the WP page on personal attacks. Almost all of what I said and what you tried to revert was clearly not in that category. Some of what I said was a little "borish" however, and possibly on a borderline. I'll try to be a little smoother in that regard as we go forward. RFinlay72 (talk) 04:20, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Alternative option? Deletion. WP:BURDENEdit

Crawiki, you've clearly been having a problem with the requirements for secondary sources and our mandate to paraphrase them, not to just assume that connections and relevance to the topic are obvious and adding that wording ourselves (which is WP:OR). The connections may be obvious to you or to someone very studied in the subject who has seen many secondary sources making the connection. If you have seen such good references, then show them to us all! We need them. Otherwise, it's not an encyclopedia article, but rather a magazine article (or worse, a magazine article in a magazine with some particular agenda).

The purpose of "no-citation" and "failed citation" tags is to give editors a bit of time to fix a problem instead of immediate deletion. It's also a way to "be nice" and to help avoid raising the ire of editors who feel some connection to the phrasing. It's a way to "be nice", but it's in no way required, especially for egregiously dubious passages. Eventually, if/when it's clear that the dubious passage cannot be supported with suitable refs, the passage gets deleted.

Crawiki, instead of trying to solve the nocite/badcite problem, you've vandalized the tags with confused cranky commentary, and with great passion, and with little willingness to cooperate civilly. I recommend you review WP:burden which puts the burden of finding and adding reliable refs squarely on the editor replacing the text. Continued reactionary vandalization of the tags suggests the "nice nice" tagging method isn't going to work for you. Therefore, we can instead try immediate deletion of the dubious passages if you like.

RFinlay72 (talk) 17:12, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

There is no justification for threatening to remove any correctly sourced data, anywhere in this article user:crawiki

Absolutely true. No argument there. RFinlay72 (talk) 17:34, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Please ChillEdit

Both of you have heavily contributed to this article, so stop throwing around ownership claims. @RFinlay72: per this rant you clearly don't like the paragraph, but removing things just because you don't like them is POV-pushing. Nobody likes a ranter. An article on Hitler will inevitably lean to the "Hitler bad" perspective, because that is how most people view him (genocide is bad, mmmkay). Likewise, most scholars, and the U.N., agree that a "presumption of guilt" violates human rights. That's not a statement made lightly, as it's the same thing Hitler was accused/guilty of. Furthermore, even if you personally feel that the presumption of guilt is a good thing, Wikipedia isn't the place to right great wrongs. @Crawiki: he wasn't personally attacking you, he was attacking what he perceived as a lack of NPOV in the article, and in particular the section you recently added. RFinlay72 did assume bad faith but he didn't engage in personal attacks. In conclusion: both of you need to chill and learn to work together again, like you did when building the other 99% of this article. Take a day or two off, have some tea and cookies, and settle down. ElectroChip123 (talk) 02:12, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

(talk) Useful comments but please note, re your comment 'work together again, like you did when building the article'; at no stage has RFinlay72 been cooperative. You are probably mixing him up with RWood128 who cooperated with me constructively on this and other articles. RFinlay72's first action. 2 weeks ago, was to delete 1700 words, leaving just a stub, without any prior discussion on the talk page. at no stage has he done anything to 'build' the article. He finds, or alleges, faults, and expects others to put them right. Given my eyesight difficulties, I find this offensive and burdensome. as are his comments about alleged crankiness, passion (who is he to know my state of mind? A psychic?). RFinlay72 needs to restrain his impulsiveness, and learn more tact.

'you behaved badly', 'you're cranky' and numerous other comments are clearly personal attcacks, why am I not entitled to remove them as I explained above?

Would you please clarify what can and cannot be included as a source here? Does every reference have to contain the phrase 'presumption of guilt', word for word? What is RFinlay72's problem with primary/secondary sources? Primary sources in this case are likely to be government press releases, court proceedings, white papers etc. None of these will ever contain the phrase 'presumption iof guilt' for obvious reasons. Euphemisms will be used; 'tough new laws', 'making people safe from terrorism' etc. Hence ALL references are likely to be secondary. User talk:Crawiki

what happened?Edit

my last edit seems to have gone awry. I tried to add a link to Blackstone's ratio Not sure what happened but text has reverted to old version circa end of april, with all subsequent edits wiped. Not sure how to fix it TIA Crawiki

Scope ControlEdit

More discipline is needed regarding what's in scope for the article, and how it's presented. Main baseline scope should be presented first, then "extended scope" should follow it and be clearly identified.

The main "baseline scope" scope of the article should be controlled and limited to situations where "charges" are made by some sort of legal authority, and the policy of that authority is to require the accused to prove that the charges aren't true, and if the accused can't establish that well enough, the charges are considered "true" by the authority and a "conviction" is made. Whether a sentence is carried out is immaterial in that situation.

It might be reasonable to include matters that aren't strictly inside that baseline scope. Currently this is most of the article. The zeal with which just about anything felt to be unfair in the world has been included is what gives the article its "personal essay" and non-neutral POV problems. If the "extended scope" material is to be retained, all cases should be described clearly with included reliable secondary sources that say straightforwardly how the thing mentioned amounts to PofG. There are currently few or no such sources in the article.

RFinlay72 (talk) 22:28, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

@RFinlay72: Presumption of guilt by the media and "social mobs" is a common occurrence worldwide, and the social stigma still remains even after the accused is found to be innocent. For example, several men have been accused of rape and fired, only later to be acquitted. They never go their jobs back and are still unable to find decent employment. They are as innocent as the morning dew, but yet they are still presumed guilty. This is clearly a usurpation of the criminal justice system, and thus is a threat the presumption of innocence. The mobs clearly don't follow "the presumption of innocence". And like the lynch mobs of the civil rights era, the presumption of guilt can run on certain lines (for sexual assault, it's assumed that the man is the aggressor, etc). Moreover, lynch mobs should be mentioned here, and the presumption of guilt should be mentioned on the page about lynch mobs. ElectroChip123 (talk) 19:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Sure. Find a reliable ref that fits that into the article's reliably-sourced, non-unlimited-scope definition and such a thing would meet some of the requirements for inclusion. I suggest starting first with a reliably-sourced, non-unlimited-scope definition, which the article currently lacks.
Packer might have a good definition in his works somewhere. Try there? Some of the stuff I read in Packer used the phrase "PofG" to mean a necessary starting mindset of police investigators when contemplating who should be investigated. That's a completely different thing than what the UN is talking about (which is the burden being on the defense in a trial). So, watch out for the careless use of the term as differing things in differing contexts. If the article should include differing definitions, then each definition should be made very very clear. So far though, there doesn't seem to be reliable sources for definitions other than the most widely-expected "burden on the defense" one. RFinlay72 (talk) 02:54, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Dubious Headlines.Edit

I've noticed that often a headline might mention "PofG" when the article doesn't really support the idea. Headline writers are incentivized to draw the eye rather than to draw good conclusions. Yet somehow, the mere mention of "PofG" in a headline seems to give it enough "cred" for inclusion. Or, the journalist needed to pump up the subject's importance so (he) asserts "PofG" without good support. The subject in the article then becomes yet another kind of PofG and gets piled-on to the "Typology" list. My point is that we need to pay careful attention to what the source actually says. If it isn't really inside our well-sourced scope of definition, we shouldn't add it in. We should take care to not expand the scope with dubious examples. RFinlay72 (talk) 05:19, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Presumption of guilt" page.