Many people celebrating Memorial Day this past weekend did so at neighborhood cook-outs and block parties. Although joyous in nature, sometimes events happen at these celebrations that result in criminal charges. Nevertheless, an individual is innocent until proven guilty, which is why putting forth a strong criminal defense is important. After all, nobody wants to see an innocent person found guilty of a crime they didn't commit.
To see an example of this, one need only look at a recent incident where a 24-year-old man was acquitted of five charges of attempted murder in conjunction with a shoot-out at a 2016 Memorial Day party. This man has faced a Baltimore courtroom five times in the past for similar felonies, all of which were ultimately dismissed.
The incident in question in this case occurred when a couple was having a cook-out in the front of their house. A woman was giving her husband food to cook when she was shot at by a person in a vehicle in front of the house. The woman swore under oath that she knew the 24-year-old man, and, when presented with a photo lineup by the police, she had identified him as the person who shot at her.
The prosecution tried to paint the man as a "trigger puller" based on his criminal history. However, the accused individual's attorney argued that it was not fair to hold the previous cases against the defendant. His defense attorney also pointed out that even if an individual is wrongfully accused of a crime, officers will still single that person out when a crime is committed. The defense further argued that the woman's testimony was the only piece of evidence pointing to the identity of the shooter, and that her testimony was "shaky" and "generic."
This case exemplifies how it is the prosecution's burden to prove that a defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If this high standard is not met, a person cannot be convicted. A skilled criminal defense attorney is often able to craft a strategy and legal arguments that challenge the prosecution's evidence. With the right help, a person accused of a felony crime may eventually be found "not guilty."
Source: Baltimore Sun, "Often charged, Baltimore man goes to trial and is acquitted in quintuple shooting at Memorial Day cookout," Justin Fenton, May 19, 2017