Ideological Reasonable Doubt

In a proper criminal justice system, due process demands that the burden of proof is on the accuser to prove someone’s guilt beyond all reasonable doubt before sentencing may be enacted. Should people who want to have a public policy enforced under the threat of criminal punishment also meet the same burden of proof that their policy is beneficial or fulfills the expectation publicly expressed by its supporters? I think so. The more severe the claim, the more the burden of proof is borne by the proponent. I just think there are very few instances where that level of certainty exists for a public policy.

To quote Art Carden, “I think the burden of proof in public policy should fall on those who seek power rather than those who seek liberty; in short, there should be a presumption in favor of liberty.” The presumption of liberty — rather than the presumption of authority — is a hallmark of a modern, liberal society.

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