why is everyone arrested called a suspect?

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    It’s true if you don’t know for sure that you nabbed the right guy then the individual in custody is just a suspect. But if he’s for sure the right guy and just his guilt is questionable, then he’s not a suspect but a confirmed perpetrator with suspected guilt.


    Which way is justice served?
    “Innocent until Proven guilty” or vice versa “guilty until Proven innocent”?

    Is it run the same way in Israel?

    What about in Bais Din? Which BTW today doesn’t handle with life and death cases?


    if police is not sure he is the right guy and also not sure tht the act was a crime, then it is sfek sfeika and he should be let go.


    In most countries, the police only arrest you if you are suspected of committing a crime, and therefore you are called a “suspect”. Usually, someone other than the police (some sort of person trained in law, of a higher rank than the police) reviews the police’s suspicions before the person is executed or imprisoned.

    There are some countries, where the police arrest you without regard to whether they believe you guilty of doing something wrong, and usually in such countries the person can be rapidly convicted and disposed of regardless of guilt, and in those countries you would not be called a “suspect”. Jews have often lived in such countries – it wasn’t pleasant.


    You can’t be sure he’s the right guy until a court convicts him.


    “You can’t be sure he’s the right guy until a court convicts him…”
    And even then, you are not “sure” he’s the right guy as evidenced by the growing numbers of convicted felons released from prison each year based on findings that he/she was unlikely to have committed the crime for they were convicted based on new evidence (DNA, confessions by others, etc.)


    Only trial and conviction can confirm the suspect is a perpetrator. Until then the arrestee/detainee is an ALLEGED perpetrator.
    Leave out that adjective and you can open yourself to slander/libel actions.
    We lawyers know to be very careful with choice of words as do journalists.


    You ascribe authority to the police they do not have. They make apprehensions, the magistrate or arraignment judge decides to hold or release. The DA, States Attorney or Grand Jury indicts on specific charges.

    Here in CT we don’t have DAs, our Stated Attorneys are appointed employees not elected politicians and we don’t use a grand jury system to indict. Much smoother, less political system than New York. We also still set cash bail got most who are arrested



    Really? Someone shoots someone and police nab him. Headlines say “Armed man arrested for killing 12-year-old girl”. They would be in danger of libel? There’s no indication of guilt in such a statement. Maybe it’s just a flat-out practice so they don’t slip up? [for example, accidentally writing “Armed man arrested for murder of 12-year old girl”, the word ‘murder’ already determining that a crime has been committed, (albeit not directly accusing the ‘suspect’)]

    It seems such a clumsy way of phrasing it. “Suspect arrested in killing of girl”, after surveillance videos clearly show it was him [directed @ujm. The individual’s identity can be known without the court’s conviction.] and the sole question is his guilt. It would make much more sense to write “Killer arrested,” and yes, we know that he faces a jury to determine his guilt.


    CTL, thanks for the explanation!


    A reputable headline would read:
    “Armed man arrested in killing of 12 year old girl.”
    In means in response to the act of the girl being killed.
    No libel can be ascribed to the headline you wrote because man is generic, if it actually used the arrestee’s name and the story did not use verbiage such as alleged it may be problematic.
    Any libel action Would wait until after trial. If convicted there is no liability, as truth is always an acceptable defense to libel. There are others, and malicious intent may have to be proven in some jurisdictions. Here the intent appears to be to sell newspapers


    Participant: He can deny the person in the video is him. (To take one hypothetical example, among many possibilities.)


    That’s just how the American justice system is. I have a legal field job and even during a criminal trial, you still have to say “alleged victim”, not just “victim”


    CTL > Armed man arrested

    a description can be also subtle. Some people are called by where they live – New Yorker, others – by profession – accountant. One famous rioter was called “motorist”. This is not a libel, but a subtle hint that he had no job or address to describe with.


    Hey, Participant, your opening comment is foolish. Please participate somewhere else.


    and my suggested headline didn’t say of the arrestee had one arm or two

    hashem says no

    The only reason why you get arrested is because you are a suspect. Gosh duhhhhhh


    @hashem says
    There are many reasons for arrest that may not include being a suspect.
    Some are just plain racist, such as driving while black.
    Some ‘bad’ cops make arrests to make quota (yes quotas do exist in some places).
    Some arrests are made to be vindictive or get back at someone for personal reasons.

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