As my paralegal and friend Trish Hudson said (I couldn’t have put it better), yesterday my client got to hear to two words every single person in jail wants to hear: “Not Guilty.”
It’s obviously incredibly hard to be accused of one of the most stigmatizing criminal allegations there is – indecency with a child. It’s even harder to not have the money to be able to hire a lawyer. Nor to be able to bond yourself out of jail so that you can help your lawyer prepare for the trial. My client went through all of this and more. He waited a year and a half in jail for his day in court, having to suffer through getting ready for trial multiple times only to have it pushed off for months and months. He didn’t get to choose his lawyer. He’d undoubtedly heard horror stories about court-appointed lawyers not fighting that hard for their clients or even throwing them under the bus.
My client went through all of this. He maintained his innocence the entire time. It wasn’t easy, but he learned to trust me and together we got him through the ordeal of his life. For me as a criminal defense lawyer (but more importantly as a citizen) the most rewarding thing about this trial was not the victory, but how the jury did their job. To a person, the jurors all told us after the verdict that they took holding the government to it’s very high burden incredibly seriously. The admitted that it was very difficult, but they rose up to the challenge and followed the law. At the end of the day, that is by far the most important thing because only then can the system truly work.
A big thanks to my team on this one: my co-counsel Katherine Reed, my paralegal Trish Hudson, my investigator Paula Cook, and all the expert witnesses who helped us prepare.