We note on our website at the established Denver criminal defense firm of Shazam Kianpour & Associates a bedrock legal canon of American law. It addresses the prosecutorial role, and is both direct and simple. We duly stress that the government must prove an alleged criminal offender’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
We couple that elemental point with a necessary addition that comes from our perspective as proven defense attorneys. We underscore the maximum efforts we make in every case to render that reasonable-doubt threshold “very difficult” for prosecutors to meet.
The dire need for any criminally accused individual to have knowledgeable and aggressive defense representation seems clear in any case, but particularly so when considered in light of something quite singular.
And that is this: Defendants across the United States are often convicted by judges and juries and given harsh criminal sentences even when they are innocent.
Put another way: Reportedly, and based on DNA and other evidence, the government sometimes gets it wrong and sends wrongly convicted persons to prison.
Like one Richard Phillips. He was exonerated of wrongdoing last year in a murder case and released from confinement – after having sacrificed 45 years of his life in prison following a false conviction from the early 1970s.
Similarly distressing stories abound. The 2018 compilation of a report issued annually by the National Registry of Exonerations reports that 151 innocent people were freed from prisons across the country last year. That number could be markedly low.
Tellingly, those wrongfully convicted individuals spent about 11 years behind bars on average.
There is a fundamentally ethical reason why the “reasonable doubt” standard exists in criminal law cases. And there is an equally strong reason why proven and passionate defense attorneys make best-faith efforts demanding that the government always prove its case.