The George Zimmerman Example: Media Tainted Jury Pools
Our criminal lawyers talk at great length about the presumption of innocence, and how the media relentlessly attacks this core principle of our justice system. We don’t get to describe how to tackle this phenomenon often, mostly because we’re too busy providing rigorous defenses for our clients to blog about the topic. What the media portrays as news is often the distorted reality that lawyers must hack their way through while attempting to sway a jury that the images and theories reporters and pundits have assaulted them with outside the courtroom are nothing more than theories concocted for ratings. First impressions are lasting, and overcoming predispositions is often the greatest challenge of any legal advocate.
The George Zimmerman Example
George Zimmerman goes on trial this week in Florida for the murder of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen allegedly shot by Zimmerman. The media has pummeled the airwaves with “evidence” relating to the case stating that Zimmerman killed Martin in a fit of vigilante justice; that the young man who lost his life was in no way the aggressor. George’s attorneys have gone about disclosing bits and pieces of real information to counteract the doctored (edited would be a kinder word) 911 calls and witness statements leaked by the press to show what they believe is the truth of the matter.
If you read a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the defense team for the accused has parried every major allegation levied at Zimmerman by the media with facts and unedited testimony from witnesses and Martin’s own family. They create a compelling scenario that this man exercised “great restraint” in the use of deadly force, and fired the fatal shot after trying to fend off his attacker without success.
Tainting Jury Pools like No Other
When the media engages in such a widespread feeding frenzy for ratings and viewers, they carpet bomb a potential jury pool with wildly speculative notions of guilt and innocence. All this does is ruin an accused person’s right to a fair trial with an impartial jury. This violation of the very basic principles of the legal system could result in the movement of the trial to another district, or the outright dismissal of charges.
If they want to find out what happens, visit the trial and watch the real professionals go to work. Speculating on guilt or innocence before all sides have their chance to present evidence is shoddy craftsmanship at best. All this strategy does it whip the public into a mob frenzy, allowing them to pass judgment without a shred of real evidence being brought to light. It’s irresponsible. If it were your brother, child, or parent standing accused, wouldn’t you want them to have every opportunity to present their case before their peers?
If you’re facing criminal charges, contact our Bucks County attorneys immediately for a consultation. Time is of the essence to preserve your rights and see that the other side does not gain an advantage that could cost you your freedom and public reputation.
NO JAIL TIME
Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)
Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.
Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)
Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.
Commonwealth v. "S"
Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.
State of New Jersey v. "H"
Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.
OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE TEAM INCLUDES TWO FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.
As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.