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GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL


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2/7/2012
Eva Hsu
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According to an article published today in the San Francisco Chronicle, Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov was arrested January 29th for driving under the influence in his dormitory parking lot.  The report is scant on details surrounding why police contacted Mr. Skov or what evidence they arrested him on.  However, the article does state that the case has been referred to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for review. 
The disturbing thing about the article was the statement made by Stanford Head Football Coach David Shaw.  He was quoted to say, “We have an expected standard of excellence and conduct for our football players, and Shayne failed to adhere to those standards.”  Not only has Mr. Skov not admitted guilt or been found guilty by a jury of his peers, but he has not even been charged yet with a crime by the local prosecutor.  It is unfortunate that Coach Shaw has such little regard for the due process protections enshrined in our Constitution that he would jump to conclusions so quickly.  We can only hope that the rest of us will keep an open mind and afford Mr. Skov the benefit of the doubt until he is either convicted or exonerated. 
This case goes to show how entrenched the “Guilt Myth” is in our society.  When people pass a person on the side of the road performing field sobriety tests they often assume that he must be guilty of DUI.  When some see an article reporting on someone being arrested for DUI they assume that the police would not arrest an innocent man.  These assumptions are deeply flawed.  They are contradicted every day when people accused of driving under the influence fight for their rights and beat the criminal justice system. 


Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

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