In most justice systems the burden of proof falls on the Crown: an individual is innocent until proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, guilty.
It’s a good principle that few could disagree with.
But as the OJ Simpson trial famously demonstrated, sometimes the burden of proof falls on the party that looks to be guilty in the eyes of the public (who are ultimately the final arbiters of justice, after all). OJ’s lawyer, Johnny Cochrane, understood this when he mounted his famous “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” line of defense, in reference to a glove tainted with evidence found at the crime scene.
But when the scrutiny does come – and it will – wouldn’t McNeil be best to take a page from Johnny Cochrane’s strategy?
Can Stephen McNeil produce the proverbial glove that doesn’t fit? If he can prove his Party’s innocence, why doesn’t he?
Maybe it’s because nobody has asked. Well, now people have asked.