Anyone can accuse another person of a crime, but God’s law ensured that there were protections for the accused. One person’s word was not enough. God required full investigations in case of a dispute. God was so concerned about false testimony that a law against it made the Top 10. And false witnesses were dealt with severely. In fact, in this instance, the ‘eye for an eye” mandate was to meant to discourage people from making false charges.
What protections are in place for people accused of a crime today? We say that people are innocent until proven guilty, yet prosecutors often want to avoid trials and intimidate people to take a plea bargain. And because poor people often end up with Public Defenders that do not have the time to adequately inform them of their rights, they often take the plea deal, losing all rights to appeal.
We all know of stories where a “victim” has accused someone of a crime only to find out later that it was not true. Yet, even the accusation is powerful enough to destroy people’s reputations.
How could God’s law help to rectify these scenarios? What recourse is available for people who are falsely accused?