A Jeffersonian In East Texas

January 13, 2008

Guilty Until Proven Innocent-You Will Never Be Proven Innocent!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ajeffersonian @ 1:15 am
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In Smith county, you are guilty until proven innocent! The trick? You will never be proven innocent! That statement may not be true in every case, but it is a statistical probability! The Houston Chronicle has it right in a story that may be a little outdated, but is still highly relevant: ‘Win at all costs’ is Smith County’s rule, critics claim.

Most local attorneys know this and will try to make the best deal they can for the accused, (or for themselves) and leave it at that. The system has been this way for a long time. The problem is, that it is not only the guilty who go down, it is, in many cases, as with the Kerry Max Cook case, the innocent who wind up behind bars! Well, that seems to be the nature of Smith county justice.

This brief post was a result of a comment from Rustybucket under

Official Arrogance Smith County Commissioners

This is the comment:

“I’m going off track here,but I just want to know why a lawyer would take your money and instead of fighting for your rights,tell you it will be a long time before you go to court,then will not use any of the witnesses that you have are no good.well I got 3 15 min. sessions with this laywer he had to go to the club an play moon you know,and convenenced me to plead guilty because he said go for a bench trial before judge Kent,on the day of trail they served my wife and he said that the judge didnt have an open mine and would throw the book at me.I had a good case if he would have gotten off his rear but I found out this lawyer is a loser,Everbody told me how good he was then I got to looking an everyone I know who he worked for is in prison he got mad at me because I wouldnt take prision over pirole he wouldnt even help me get a license.The morale of this story is if your lawyer goes to clubs and drinks with you dont use him he’s not a friend he’s there making you think he’s good.”

For more on the Cook case:
frontline: the plea: four stories: kerry max cook | PBS

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3 Comments »

  1. You might be interested in knowing that the book Smith County Justice is now up in electronic form on http://www.wikileaks.org .

    Comment by Anon — January 27, 2008 @ 8:28 am | Reply

  2. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Bloodshot!!!

    Comment by Bloodshot — June 19, 2008 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  3. Bloodshot, I am not sure which part you didn’t get, whether it was one of the comments, or the text of the post, but I thought I would make a stab at some explanation.

    As far as the original post is concerned, it may be a bit different in the UK than here. Our justice system is supposed to assume innocence by default, but in some areas, it is not working as well as it should. Smith county Texas is one of those areas. The system assumes guilt, and makes it nearly impossible to prove ones innocence. The burden of proof is on the state, and all a defendant should have to do is provide reasonable doubt of his guilt. The courts have produced an atmosphere in this county, backed by the most stringent rules on the nature of what a reasonable doubt is, that it is nearly impossible to prove.

    The real problem, is that the defendant has to prove anything, since the burden of proof is on the state, and innocence should be presumed!

    If the lack of clarity was concerning one of the other comments, I don’t think I could be of much help, as they come from individuals other than the author.

    Comment by ajeffersonian — June 23, 2008 @ 1:45 am | Reply


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