I just finished the third jury trial, all for the same case and client. Just over two years ago he was charged with 4 felonies, the story was all over the papers, screaming headlines, TV news, his mug shot all over the place. As you can imagine, the impact on his business and personal life was devastating. Customers did not want to come to his shop, assuming that he must be guilty of what he was accused of.
Fast forward to now. The case was politically motivated, the 4 felony charges were unfounded, one was dismissed, the other three ended in acquittals after jury trials. When we hear about criminal charges against someone it is easy to assume they are guilty. A criminal charge is just an accusation, anyone with a computer can put one together. What matters is whether our fellow citizens, members of a jury, after listening to all of the evidence, believes that someone has done something wrong. Next time you hear the media talking about accusations, putting someone’s mug shot on the internet, please do not condemn them until they have had their day in court, and the jury has decided. All of us deserve to be heard before we are condemned.