You Might Go to Prison, Even Though You're Innocent

Lynchburg Criminal Defense Attorney

Lynchburg Criminal Defense Attorney

In his book, Professor Brooks identifies numorous false presumptions most of society has about the Criminal Justice System. If you have been charged with a crime you should call me, I am a Lynchburg Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney.

The United States of America's criminal justice system is an adversarial one. Prosecutors and law enforcement have taken that and made an excuse for themselve to act unethically and with an underhanded nature. The authorites are charged with what is best for the interest of justice. They are not supposed to beget a social media driven hysterical hord agenda propagated by the #mindvirus that has infected most levels of government. One passage from Professor Brooks' book that I think is highly applicable and scary at the same time becuase I have seen this displayed with my own two eyes:

The Prosecutor did believe what he was saying. He wasn’t putting on an act. And he wasn’t evil. Because [the accused] innocence conflicted with everything he [the prosecutor] had internalized for years about the system to which he had dedicated his life, he was in a form of psychological denial that prevented him from evaluating the evidence objectively. He literally could not mentally or emotionally accept the truth.” Today the Criminal Justice System is rot with “confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, administrative evil, bureaucratic denial, and dehumanization, among other factors combine to cause prosecutors to not see and/or not act on indicators that a person they are prosecuting might be innocent.” Brooks, Justin “You Might Go to Prison Even Though You’re Innocent,” (2023)

When the local government lacks the ability to what Jefferson coined as  "think for yourself" then the entire community will suffer, not just the wrongfully accused or convicted. we need total tranparency in government. Currently, that is not the case. The following is what I believe needs to be changed as far as the Commonwealth of Virginia's Criminal Justice system is concerned:

  1. Defendants in a criminal proceeding should have a right to videotape/video record proceedings.

If a person accused of a crime requests that the proceedings be video recorded this should be allowed. At a minimum allowed. Right now a judge can say no to this request. And, Especially if the accused is facing incarceration this should be allowed. This would substantially cut down the absurdity that Lynchburg City Police Department and Lynchburg City Prosecutors office put forth to our good communities courts. They waste courts time, destroy employment prospects of the accused and probably have put innocent people in prison where if it was video recorded injustice would quickly be addressed. And the problematic people that are part of our “system” likely fired.

The expense of this would not be substantial given the fact that every police officer has a camera on them now anyway. And, certainly should be permitted if the accused is willing to pay a licensed Court reporter to do the video recording. We live in a nation where you are constitutionally afforded an open public hearing. Today, that means it needs to be on video for later review. What this would also do is allow the accused to later show other people just how absurd any accusation against them was in its entirety. In this internet age, a false accusation can quickly permanently destroy futures.

  1. Booking Photos/Mugshots should not be released to the public until a conviction, guilty plea, or fugitive from justice (on the run from the police). If a person is not convicted the photos should never be released to the public.

This is already the standard for the federal government, if an accused is arrested by a federal agency their booking photo is taken but it is not released to the local media or the extortionist internet mugshot industry unless an accused is on the run from the cops. The internet mugshot industry is extortion, to see it as anything less is to not understand what they are doing.  Also, a false accuser can use the police in this way to hide themselves but harass the accused.

Due process is a foundational U.S. Constitutional right. The Government is supposed to have a hearing before they take from U.S. citizens. In an internet era, the current automatic disclosure law regarding mugshots is a fraud on our nation and communities. It is a practice that takes from citizens accused of crimes that have not been permitted the right to cross-examine the evidence against them. It gives immense power of local police or a single officer acting on their own to permanently defame a citizen without the public ever knowing the truth or weight of any accusation against them.

  1. The Right to a Jury trial should be held by the defendant only.

As it is currently, an accused can assert their right to a jury trial or request a judge trial. The prosecution should not have the right to assert a jury trial. When prosecutors assert a jury trial over the objection of the defense, this is a clear sign the prosecution is attempting to do something fraudulent in the courts. A jury trial takes longer and costs the accused in a criminal proceeding more money. And a jury can be tricked unlike a judge.

When we think about the right to a jury trial, a right to be judged by a panel of your peers or community members, that is a right held by the defendant in a criminal proceeding. Prosecutors today can use their power to assert a jury trial to try and trick lay persons into a conviction based on absolute nonsense and not the law. Prosecutors can force longer procedural times by asserting a jury trial because there is a much longer wait to have a jury trial than a judge(bench) trial. Prosecutors can use unethical, unprofessional and quite frankly fraudulent tactics during a jury trial to “create” scenarios in front of a jury that a judge would just simply ignore or not even utilize in their logical analysis of the facts and the law. If an accused choses to have a learned mind come to a verdict as opposed to the local pot smoking theater kid or social media hysterical activist, the accused should have that right.

  1. Double Jeopardy should attach at the preliminary hearing.

Essentially, how a well trained lawyer would advise a client is what the law is. Today, if an accused is charged with a crime and there is a preliminary hearing, a seasoned defense attorney will advise against putting on a defense because if the case is dismissed by the court a prosecutor can direct indict a defendant anyway. This means that double jeopardy does not attach until after the preliminary hearing.

Double jeopardy should attach at the preliminary hearing. This would save astronomical amounts of money not only for the falsely accused but also for the state because if an accused has solid irrefutable evidence of innocence at the preliminary hearing stage of a criminal prosecution they wouldn’t have to pay for an entire trial. Neither the state nor accused. This would separate the chaff from the wheat, quickly and at great savings to the system.

  1. Judge selection should be double blind random, attorneys or any of the local authorities, should not have input on which judge presides over which cases whatsoever.

This should realistically apply to both Criminal and Civil Proceedings, but certainly Criminal proceedings. In a criminal trial who the judge is going to be, should be unknown to both the Prosecution and in fairness the Defense. It should not be “chosen” by one side or the other.

Because in smaller communities such as Lynchburg Virginia where the  interpersonal relationships of professionals in a “profession” interact with each other daily at work and out side of work, who the judge is should not be the choice of either the Judge nor the attorneys. It should be the sole selection of God or random. The only exception should be if the judge officially recuses themselves as per the Bar rules and on the record.

  1. Prosecutorial immunity must not be “absolute.”

Prosecutorial immunity must have limits. They should have more of an inquisitorial role seeking truth than an adversarial role seeking conviction. There is a foundational difference between being soft on crime and seeking the truth. If a prosecutor is not aimed at the truth they should be removed from their position immediately.

As it is today a prosecutor can do nothing short of lie to a judge in open court and get away with it. A prosecutor can seek to have exculpatory evidence of the accused excluded from trial. A prosecutor can play a “gamesmanship” with peoples lives by using “experts” with their scienciey science to trick jurors. Prosecutors can make unfounded claims to jury’s based on no evidentiary indication. Prosecutors can knowingly put on perjured testimony.

All of the forgoing is a crime unto the Citizens of this good commonwealth. And, a prosecutor as it sits, just gets away with it.

  1. There needs to be an exception added to the Rape Sheild Laws.

If a false accuser in a rape case, speaks to an accused about how she masturbated earlier in the day right before consensual sex, that should be admissible. Today a judge can exclude from trial statements that a false accuser made to a criminally accused while she was sitting next to him on the coach talking about her masturbation from earlier in the day and what she likes. The defendant in a criminal proceeding should be allowed to testify to that and any statements made to a defendant by the false accuser. Especially if it’s the same day, proximate time and same sexual subject matter.

  1. We need standard Jury Instructions.

As it sits a judge gets to form how jury instructions are presented to a jury. This needs to be standardized. Standardized so that a jury does not have to sift through a 25 page package to get to the verdict form. With this a judge and prosecutor can make deliberation times substantially longer than they would be. They can attempt to manipulate a future civil litigants decision making based of off that judges own personal bias, prejudice or religious values. That must not be the law, the law is the law not subjective manipulative pretense.

  1. Bail, the evidence against the accused must be considered before an amount of bail is set.

There must be zero bail set for pre-trial release when the evidence against an accused is absurd, makes no plain common sense and a police officer is exercising her own narcissistic incompetence.

Bail should be set at zero, especially if upon becoming aware of the charges the accused immediately presents themselves to face the charges. If an accused presents themselves to the authorities immediately upon becoming aware of the charges against them the only purpose a multi-thousand dollar bail serves is to fill the local bail bondsman’s coffers. Because the purpose of a bail is to ensure appearance in court and not running away, if that concern is eliminated, there is no purpose in setting a bond. And, especially if there is no criminal record of the accused.

Chris White Lawyer, LLC. is a Lynchburg, Virginia Law Firm available for free consultations in person, via Facetime, Skype, Zoom or phone (434) 660-9701. Please also check out my practice areas in Criminal Defense Attorney and Car Accident Lawyer. At my Law Firm we focus on the best result for the client. To stay connected I have a Youtube ChannelInstagramFacebookTwitterLinkedInTumblrBloggerReddit, Yelp, Avvo and Justia. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Chris White lawyer, LLC

Cellphone: (434) 660-9701

Available with appointment (434) 660-9701:

700 12th St, Lynchburg, VA 24504

Available with appointment (434) 660-9701:

100 Tradewynd Dr. Lynchburg, VA 24502

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