Last week, the trial of a man charged with the murder of his neighbor began in a Onslow County Superior Court. According to a report by JDNews.com, the prosecution has alleged that the man murdered his neighbor and took her prescription pills after she refused to sell him the pills. In the opening day of trial, the prosecution pointed to recorded conversations where the man spoke of his hostility toward the victim. The prosecution also alluded that it would present witnesses that would testify that the man confessed to them.
In his opening statement, the man’s defense attorney pointed out that these confessions are not the most reliable evidence against the accused because they came not from a recording, but from witnesses who may have something to gain from the man’s prosecution. Moreover, the man’s defense attorney claimed that it was not proper for the State to make the man wait three years to go to trial.
Before the jury could hear from more witnesses, however, the judge was notified that one of the jurors had lost her husband that morning and placed a pause on the proceedings while an alternate juror was selected.
Confessions Are Not as Clear Cut as They May Seem
While it may seem like a slam-dunk for the prosecution, not everyone who admits to committing a crime is guilty of the alleged offense. Police tend to use extraordinary measures when trying to extract a confession out of a person arrested for a crime. Sometimes, the police interrogation techniques are so extreme and place so much stress on prospective defendants that a person actually confesses to a crime that they did not commit.
In Jacksonville criminal trials, jurors are usually initially skeptical of a defendant who allegedly confessed to a crime. They tend to think, “who could confess to such a serious crime if they didn’t do it?” However, an experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to explain that even innocent people can confess to crimes under extreme stress.
In addition, sometimes a witness will report that a defendant confessed to a crime when the defendant did no such thing. This often is done to take the “heat” off of the person reporting the confession, or just to frame the defendant.
The bottom line is that, no matter what the prosecution says, a confession is not clear cut evidence of guilt and, like all other evidence, confessions can and should be challenged.
Are You Being Tried for a Criminal Offense in Florida?
If you have recently been arrested for a crime, you need to give the situation the serious attention that it deserves. Even when the prosecution has strong evidence, there is always something that can be done in your defense.
The Forbess Law Firm is an experienced, dedicated, and aggressive Jacksonville criminal defense firm that is ready to stand up for your rights. The Forbess Law Firm has successfully challenged the introduction of all kinds of evidence and knows what it takes to get a case dismissed. Click here to contact the Forbess Law Firm online, or call 904-634-0900 today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
See More Blog Posts:
Hollywood Police Officer Charged with DWI, Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog, November 12, 2013.
Intoxilyzer 8000 Evidence Called into Question, Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog, November 7, 2013.