I allegedly don't understand the word "allegedly." Allegedly.
November 10, 2009 8:32 AM Subscribe
I am confused as to the use of the word "allegedly" and why it is used outside of a strictly legal sense (in the media for example)? For instance, with this most recent shooting in Texas, there are obviously dozens of eye witnesses, only one suspect under consideration, no one is going to argue in court that someone else did it, so why on the news are the anchors still saying Mr. Hasan "allegedly" shot these people? It just seems weird...
posted by the foreground to Law & Government (38 answers total)
I understand the term might be more relevant in a case of a burglary, or when there is only circumstantial evidence to tie a suspect to a crime, because then there is a doubt and if you straight out accuse someone and they are acquitted, then you might be liable to be sued. It seems in this case the only thing in doubt is the motivation or mental state of the accused (temporary insanity etc.), there is no real doubt that he actually did it...so why is everyone so noticeably still prefixing the crime with "allegedly?" Also, it seems the media are really selective with this term. If an investigative reporter uncovers something legally dubious about a company for instance, the headline would read "Documents reveal Company x laundered millions" you never see "Documents reveal Company x allegedly laundered millions." Unless I just am not noticing it. Can someone explain the technical issues around this word, when it is appropriate to use and when it is not?