Does the law protect the innocent? In the old days when I represented several white collar criminals in tax or financial fraud cases. As a lawyer, I was surprised to find that prosecutors, usually political appointees or ambitious bureaucrats had absolutely no interest in the truth. They were always arranging available “evidence” to build a case and get high profile convictions. If there was any exonerating (lawyers call it exculpatory) evidence it was buried, ignored/ hidden . A very good defense lawyer could often ferret out such evidence, as actually happened in the Straus-Kahn case where a prominent and admittedly horny French banker was accused & tried for raping an African hotel maid in NYC. The defense uncovered a recorded telephone call to the lady’s boyfriend immediately after the “rape” where she said in effect, that after consensual sex, she had “another” big fish on the hook presumably for blackmail.
Without a really good defense detective, the banker would have done serious time. I suspect the prosecutors always knew the woman involved was a serial blackmailer of men she had sex with at her hotel job. The prosecutors desperately wanted to convict a high profile guy . There was a book called “Bonfire of the Vanities” in which the prosecutor said something like “It’s easy to convict the guilty, but its a real triumph when you can convict an innocent.”
Juries tend to feel that any person who is indicted must have done something wrong. They are predisposed to convict. The prosecution does all they can to stain the reputation of the defendant. The prosecution usually “proves” If they didn’t commit the crime that they are accused of, they must have done something equally bad. That alone they insinuate, is good reason to convict them of what they maybe didn’t do… OK the Feds win 98% of all their criminal cases. The FBI labs are well known to intentionally fabricate evidence to support the prosecutor’s theory of the case. But jurors are never allowed to be shown abundant evidence of that.
The bottom line is that jurors like the Henry Fonda character —Men who are sincerely interested in the truth —as in the play/movie 12 Angry Men — just don’t exist in real life. I completely disagree with a very well written Quora answer about how the law protects the innocent. It is supposed to do that, but the reality is that the law bureaucracy seldom lets an innocent high profile defendant go free. There are many examples: Martha Stewart is one. Leona Helmsley is another.
If someone is unlucky enough to be an African-American murder defendant with only an inexperienced public defender , you can also kiss them good-bye.
Law enforcers —police and prosecutors— are motivated only to get convictions. They will use any methods they find useful in this endeavor.
One client who became part of the 98% conviction rate blurted out after being found guilty, that the prosecutors in his case were so adept at creating evidence and getting witnesses to say what they wanted,could convict the Pope for adultery —even tho the Pope wasn’t of course married.
Many of today’s politicians became well known because of the publicity they got “putting away” criminals. Rudy Giuliani of NYC is in this category. For us old timers, the near winner of a USA presidential election vs. Harry Truman, was Thomas E. Dewey. His only claim to fame was sending a lot of people up the river.
Being a prosecutor who wins cases will make you a governor or possibly president.
Letting the innocent get on with their lives is a backwards career move.