Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Abuse of Pretrial Detention in America

Mary Dryer


Although few principles of law are as widely lauded and universally accepted as the presumption of innocence, this principle is violated daily by a practice that has become standard in our justice system, exceptional only in how unexceptional it seems. Pretrial detention—the practice of holding a defendant in custody before trial while he or she is still entitled to the presumption of innocence—is, in its current status, a clear contradiction of this principle and a staple of the American legal system.

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ISSN 2160-5807 (online)