Maryland fans of courtroom dramas are familiar with the plot of the wrongly accused defendant going to trial, only to emerge victorious in the end when a jury acquits him due to lack of evidence. It's a feel-good storyline that engages viewers and allows them to believe that justice is possible, if not always easily won.
The Supreme Court has upheld a confession that the accused maintains was coerced. The man confessed to sexually assaulting a friend's daughter in a situation where many people might do the same. The man was brought in for questioning, but was not "in custody," and had not been read his rights. He was interrogated for 80minutes, in which the officers involved "overstated" the evidence against him and attempted to give incentives for him to confess. According to the journal for the state's bar, the officers told the man he would not be able to make any phone calls -- implying he would be unable to contact a lawyer.
When someone in Maryland is fired and he or she doesn't believe that there was any justifiable reason for the termination, he or she may be prone to accusing a former employer or coworker of wrongdoing. In some cases, these allegations are true and the employee was wrongfully terminated. In others, however, the allegations are merely an attempt to shame, punish, or discredit an individual or organization due to bitter feelings because of the termination. Until anything is proven, however, any individual or organization should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Even for athletes that are destined to be professional sportspeople, a solid college education is important. With the limited career span of professional athletes, they often need to have an education to fall back on. That is why what happened to a Xavier University sophomore is even more unbelievable.
With the recent conviction of Jerry Sandusky on numerous sex crimes, some questions have been raised about what role football and head trauma plays in the suspected commission of criminal sexual conduct. There has been some evidence that indicates that a football player who suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy may have lowered inhibitions, meaning he or she may be more likely to commit a sexual assault that he may not have otherwise committed. Though certainly not all football players will end up committing a sexual assault, it is thought that traumatic brain injuries may make it harder for individuals to resist sexual urges that they had previously kept at bay.
Each state has its own rules on when a case becomes too old to prosecute, and while Maryland's laws may be different than any other state's, many people may believe that there is just a point where evidence would be too stale to have a fair trial. Whether that is at the five-year mark, 10 years or 20 years, there are some states that allow prosecutors to bring a sexual abuse case 43 years after the incident apparently took place.
What would you do if police brought you in for questioning and said that they had forensic evidence that placed you at the scene of a crime? While many people in Montgomery County may think that forensic evidence is a way to accurately determine who is guilty and who is not, a report by The Washington Post calls into question just how true that is.
We have said over and over again how serious sex crimes can be and that even the smallest accusation can have horrendous consequences on a Maryland resident's career, personal life or living situation. Because of this, it is absolutely essential that Montgomery County police only arrest and prosecutors only charge someone with a sexual assault when there is sufficient evidence. Anyone who believes that he or she has been unfairly targeted of a sex crimes case should work with his or her attorney to clear his or her name and attempt to rebuild a life shattered by an accusation.
Many people in Montgomery County and across Maryland have read stories of schools and local police departments charging young children with serious juvenile crimes. Sometimes a child really should be punished, but in many cases schools are overreacting to what is sometimes simply children playing. It seems another school has recently become "really overzealous" with its accusation that a 6-year-old committed a juvenile sexual assault on one of his classmates.
Everyone in Washington, D.C., has heard numerous stories about priests, pastors and other religious figures that allegedly prey on their congregants. Accusations of sexual assault by a priest are so common that many people will assume that all allegations of sexual assault are true. Unfortunately, some cases arise after a false report is made, but even when a priest is able to prove his innocence, it doesn't mean his career hasn't already been ruined by the mere accusation of sexual abuse.