"Guilty Enough": The Supreme Court Reinforces the Presumption of Innocence

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The George Washington Law Review


Imagine that you are charged with a crime, convicted, and sentenced to a term of incarceration and the payment of court costs, fines, and restitution. Let’s say that your conviction subsequently is reversed on appeal and you are retried and acquitted by a second jury. Upon your acquittal, the court costs, fines, and restitution payments you made pursuant to your earlier sentence were refunded immediately. However, you are required to remain in prison unless and until you successfully petition the court for your release—a process requiring you to show by clear and convincing evidence that you are, in fact, factually innocent of the crime for which you already have been acquitted.