Feature

‘Perp walks’ are an abuse of justice

The truth is that the perp walk is “one of the most cynical conspiracies in all of modern-day criminal justice,” said Andrew Cohen in TheAtlantic.com.

Andrew CohenTheAtlantic.com

The French have spouted a lot of sexist, conspiratorial nonsense about the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said Andrew Cohen. But they’re right about one thing: Forcing handcuffed criminal defendants to make a publicized “perp walk” is barbaric—and totally at odds with the presumption of innocence.

Cops and prosecutors last week paraded Strauss-Kahn, then the head of the International Monetary Fund, before a battery of photographers, after he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid. In the glare of flashbulbs, the alleged perpetrator, with his hands cuffed behind his back, looked guilty and ashamed. To the surprise of Americans, the French were outraged; isn’t that how we treat all high-profile defendants? Indeed it is—but “sometimes, it takes an outsider to see clearly the truth.”

The truth is that the perp walk is “one of the most cynical conspiracies in all of modern-day criminal justice.” The media gets its photos of the accused, and law enforcement gets to cement an indelible impression of guilt into the minds of potential jurors—fairness and justice be damned. This is no way to run a court system.

Recommended

Italian journalist reporting on missing toddler finds the boy
A helicopter flies over an Italian forest.
right place right time

Italian journalist reporting on missing toddler finds the boy

Jamal Khashoggi's Saudi killers got paramilitary training in U.S.
Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi Murder

Jamal Khashoggi's Saudi killers got paramilitary training in U.S.

10 things you need to know today: June 22, 2021
Ebrahim Raisi
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 22, 2021

Philippines' Duterte warns he'll jail people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on a visit to China.
that's one idea

Philippines' Duterte warns he'll jail people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine

Most Popular

Cook called Pelosi with 'warning' about antitrust bills
Tim Cook
mr. cook calls washington

Cook called Pelosi with 'warning' about antitrust bills

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now