Guilty until proven innocent – one Public Defender’s opinion.

I have this belief – it may be a naive belief – that most trials are won not because the jury upheld the presumption of innocence, but because the defense overcame the presumption of guilt. It is human nature to want to hear both sides of a story and then decide which one is more believable. To force the jurors to perform their duty in a manner that is contrary to this human need is merely wishful thinking, no matter how forceful the instruction from the judge.** The presumption of innocence exists in name only; a lofty ideal that we can thump our chests about and shout from rooftops. Look at this fine example of how just we are as a society. The real truth, hidden in the backrooms of courthouses and in the ugly, dirty trenches of everyday warfare is quite different. Every morning, the defendant and the defense lawyer face a nearly unsurmountable task: overcome the fact that almost everyone but you thinks your client is guilty.   Presumption of Guilt, opinion from a Public Defender. Read more "Guilty until proven innocent – one Public Defender’s opinion."