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Article failed to protect accused

Letters to the Editor

 


Media has a duty to distinguish fact from opinion and to report both sides of a story without bias. Because reputations and lives can be destroyed long before facts are known we rely on the media to equalize the power imbalance between the government and individual by checking every “fact” before reporting it as such. We rely on the media to model the important American principal that all people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Your article on Mr. Guzman’s arrest does none of the above.

You state “Among a list of charges that Police Chief Pat Collins said was expanding” and you fail to list any charges at all. Instead you state, as if already proven: “Guzman had used someone else’s Social Security number, wasn’t a citizen, and didn’t have a valid work permit.” Did you attempt to access the charging documents, review probable cause or attempt to reach Mr. Guzman for comment?

Mr. Guzman was always available to students, offered free Spanish instruction to parents to help students succeed. He lived a humble lifestyle to send money to his elderly mother. Most importantly, although he has been accused of crimes, he is guilty of none of them until such time as each element of each crime has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

It appears the arrest has disrupted if not destroyed his life, and your article has taken care of destroying his reputation before the man set foot in court let alone had his day there.

Daryl Rodrigues

 

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