One of the most important things I have learned as an attorney is to reserve judgment when you read a news story until you have more information. Informing the public regarding current events is a valuable service the media provides. However, people’s lives can be drastically affected by one story.
Please remember that criminal charges are not convictions. One of the cornerstones of American democracy is the freedom of the press. But, one of the cornerstones of the American justice system is that every individual is presumed innocent. It is the burden of the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual is guilty of a crime. All too often, in my experience, the “court of public opinion” forgets that part.
For example, recently, I was interviewed regarding a client’s case. The case involving allegations against Kathryn Navrides has garnered a lot of media attention. Unfortunately, people tend to jump to conclusions based on soundbytes and incomplete information, and I have seen a lot of negative public reaction to reports on the case. Although I will not comment on the specifics of an ongoing case, I can say that I think the premature judgment that I have seen is unfair. As always, there is more than one side to the story.