Perp walks. We’ve all seen them on the news. The police parading the suspects for all the news cameras to get their shots of the guy in handcuffs. What is the history of the perp walk? For a discussion of the perp walk, you can read an interesting article by NPR by clicking here. Inspired by the perp walk of Dominique Strauss Kahn, French citizen and former head of the IMF, NPR also published another report titled “French Law, American Custom and the Perp Walk.”
People have been debating the usefulness of perp walks for some time now. Michel Martin published a thought provoking article on the usefulness of perp walks last August. Only weeks after Strauss Kahn made his perp walk, New York City Mayor Bloomberg has spoken out against perp walks, calling them outrageous. It’s too early to say if this could be the beginning of the end for the perp walk. Only time will tell. But in my view, perp walks are completely at odds with one of our legal system’s core principles: innocent until proven guilty.