Presumed guilty

The coverage of the terrible Entwistle murders has shown up the difference between US and UK reporting standards. Whereas I generally assume that the US press will be more responsible than their British cousins, I was very surprised to read the presumptions of guilt and sweeping statements in the Boston Globe’s coverage (use BugMeNot to get through registration).

Given the apparently complete absence of a “sub judice” rule, there is no hint of the British phrases “helping the police with their enquiries”, or “the trial continues”. Only a lone ‘accused’ before ‘killer’ gives any hint of the presumption of innocence, while the family of the victims are allowed to invoke the devil in their quoted comments to the press.

A different and worrying legal culture indeed.