In 1765, Sir William Blackstone stated that, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” He said that because court systems at the time were known for convicting innocent people in unfair trials. The Founding Fathers had experienced living under a government that persecuted the innocent at the whim of those in authority. Consequently, when they wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, those accused of crimes in the United States are guaranteed important protections under the law.
Periodically, high crime rates bring about suggestions on ways to curtail some of the rights of the accused. There have been attempts to limit how many times a convicted criminal can appeal his/her sentence while penalties become more harsh. However, the Constitution is still generally on the side of the accused; if an error is made, those who wrote the Constitution preferred that the guilty go free than that the innocent be convicted.
One of the rights of the accused that has been before the Supreme Court is ‘probable cause.’ Many cases have been decided by a court decision on whether or not the arresting officer had ‘probable cause’ to arrest and search someone without a warrant. As one of the strong protections for the accused, this occasionally means that a guilty person goes free when the evidence that would have likely convicted him is not allowed into court. Supreme Court decisions are currently tending to favour the police and the admission of the evidence, weakening that protection of the accused, although this is still a strong right.
However, in practice, it is intimidating to face a prosecutor who has the power of the state supporting him. Few, if any, defendants have the resources available to the government. For the accused, that means that their attorney must be smart, experienced and extremely knowledgeable in the law. Someone sitting in Bucks County Prison needs someone on his side who knows the ins and outs of the criminal code.
Thomas D. Kenny and Michael Kotik aren’t intimidated by the prosecution. In or out of the courtroom, they stand steadfastly by their clients, utilizing a defence strategy designed to eliminate or reduce time spent in prison. They work to make sure that all of the defendant’s rights are honoured. If someone is in trouble and needs a Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer, they should contact LegalPhilly.com. They can be reached 24/7.