Innocent until Proven Guilty

by Kristen Growney Yamamoto, co-Executive Director

I am serving on jury duty this week. Like most of you, I wasn’t looking forward to the time away from work, the endless waiting.  I was called into the courtroom for jury selection and my dread continued.

The judge read to the collective jurors about our responsibility to our community and fellow citizens.  As jurors, she read, we are… “not sitting in judgment of our fellow citizen but rather assuming his or her innocence at the onset. To do this means that you will be open to any and everything that is presented.”
I know I don’t have the exact words from the judge but they ring a bell. We’ve all learned that ‘Innocent until Proven Guilty’ is a right of every defendant in our courtrooms.  How many of us keep this in mind every day?  I know I struggle with it and yet it is consistent with the values of GLIDE.

GLIDE embraces radical inclusivity and unconditional love—for everyone.  We will not judge you first, but accept you as you are.  You may need a meal,
or had to sleep outside last night, or need a safe and stimulating place for your child while you work.  We welcome all of you! We are here for you and everyone, despite your circumstances.

I was struck by the similarity of the consistency of GLIDE’s sense of community responsibility and that of our legal system.  Both are unwavering and strong!