Guilt and Innocence

This poem conflates the guilt and innocence at times of war with that of the criminal justice system. People are mostly neither innocent nor guilty, they are just on a spectrum that leads from innocence to guilt. It is just convenient (and intellectually lazy) to pigeon hole people. When it comes to sentencing, judges have guidelines. But there are no such guidelines for conviction. It is a first past the post system where the will of the jury is lost somewhere in the middle of the spectrum and, unfortunately, human error can be found. There are references to the Cliff Richard and Edward Heath cases.

Guilt and Innocence
War is won, the victors define the truth
The guilt and the innocence
The deaths among the nation’s youth
Justify all reminiscence
Prosecutors ignore the burden of proof
Ignoble their insouciance
Show me the innocent, women or men
Those beyond all criticism
And I’ll show you them guilty, now or then
Beyond the bounds of cynicism
Breaking some law, by sword or pen
Even destruction by witticism
The majority, mostly baying for blood
Their fury changes no facts
Names needlessly dragged through mindless mud
Seldom judged upon their acts
Justice nipped in the nation’s bud
Justice by far too lax
A policeman posing for television
Calling for so-called evidence
Not treated with deserved derision
But a curious form of reverence
Lives ruined by an amoral decision
The media showing no reticence
Guilty be those seeking power and glory
Condemning those wrongly accused
Innocent be those that in telling their story
Find that the truth is misused
By those that seek to shape their own history
Their rank in society abused
Give thanks to the silent minority
Those prudently slow to condemn
They who espouse all humility
When judging the actions of men
Know the innocent may be guilty
And the guilty may be forgiven