But I’m innocent!
Everyone needs an attorney, guilty or innocent. In fact, innocent people need a lawyer more because a jury may not automatically find them innocent. Often the hardest cases to fight are by way of representation of the innocent. The innocent, unlike those who have committed crimes do not expect to be found guilty or to admit to crime they simply did not commit. People who are at least partially culpable and do not expect that being found innocent their goal. Those who are not innocent often end up taking plead bargains for reduced charged and lesser punishment.
The criminal justice system is a lot like fishing.When you fish with a net you often get fish that you are not trying to catch, ones that do not belong in the net. When you are fishing there are people who watch the net and throw the wrong fish back into the sea. Our justice system does not afford defendants the same protection as we give to fish. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system does not have a person who decides which fish are rightfully caught and which fish should be tossed back into the water.
The District Attorney has a position known as the “charging DA.” This person’s job is to look for those cases where the defendant was wrongly caught in the net of justice. The police are supposed to make an evaluation of any arrest, and the facts connected with this arrest, before sending the case to the District Attorney for prosecution. The system fails because the police are taught that they do not have to worry if a case should be sent to the DA for charging because the DA will review the case file before filing a Complaint. The District Attorney is told that the police are evaluating all cases before they are sent to the DA’s office so the DA need not worry about the validity of the charge; they just file away.
This causes cases not to be reviewed and even the most obviously inappropriate cases are charged.
The safeguard of justice has failed!