The United States is great in that our judicial system promotes the idea that an individual is innocent until proven guilty. However, through cracks in the courtroom, guilt isn’t always proven. We’re told to assign guilt only if that guilt is apparent “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” And that shouldn’t be a phrase that’s open to interpretation or compromise. It ought to be black and white. But for whatever reasons, and through whatever means, innocent citizens are still sent to prison, and certain unlucky individuals have even been sentenced to death.
The sad truth is this: innocent people have died due to faults in the American legal system. According to The New York Times, a whopping 115 prisoners on death row have been exonerated since 1989. And those are cases of admitted injustice. It makes one wonder how many people may have wrongfully died due to courtroom follies.
Why is the courtroom fallible? Well, there are numerous hypotheses which may all be right in the end, but the biggest reason is people. A court is run by people, and verdicts are decided by people. That’s the beauty of American court; and it is its Achilles’ heel. A jury of our peers may be flawed, and history has proven that point.
This, arguably, is why we provide criminal defense attorneys to the criminally accused. It’s important to have both defense and prosecutory representations in the courtroom. A one-sided battle will always be lost. Moreover, this is why good defense representation is so important. The fact of the matter is, people can be persuaded. A good defense attorney knows how to protect the criminally accused – regardless of their circumstance – in order to defend from harsh or wrongful convictions.