April 2nd, 2009
03:36 PM ET

Brandon Craig: not guilty

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Jami Floyd | Bio
In Session

Brandon Craig has been acquitted of all charges related to the brutal murders of three teenagers, ten years ago; and it’s a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong: Three innocent kids were gunned down, in cold blood, before their lives had really even begun. Their families have suffered immeasurably in the ten years since. But the “not guilty” verdict is a good thing because of what it says about our system of justice. The verdict signals a return to the principles upon which our system was founded — that every man is innocent until proven guilty.

In recent years, we have lost sight of those fundamentals; in too many cases the desire for retribution has replaced reason, and reasonable doubt was the first casualty. Now, however, the pendulum of justice is swinging back to center. Juries, like this one, are once again finding the courage to hold the prosecution to its proof.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • In Session • Jami Floyd
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. John Self

    In my earlier life, I covered the police for a Houston newspaper. There are several "takeaways" from that experience that have stayed with me over the years. No doubt, the vast majority of police and prosecutors are good and decent people. But like sales person working to meet a quota, they, too, must perform - to achieve a local benchmark for arrests and convictions. Sadly, the pressure on those people is similar to those in any other profession. Remember the DA is an elected official. Moreover, counties do not pay their prosecutors very much money so they do not always attract the best and/or the brightest. And police officers must always battle the temptation to "help" the process when they "know" a suspect is guilty but all the evidence does not align.

    Think of the OJ Simpson murder trial. After it was over you had this strange feeling that the police tried to frame a guilty man...

    Some important truths to remember when thinking about the death penalty: The most unreliable of witnesses are eye witnesses. Sometimes the evidence just does not support the charge. And prosecutors and police officers DO misbehave in the name of justice

    April 3, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  2. Laura Murphy

    I feel the great pain the parents feel. I am sorry it all turned out this way. The prosecution didn't have all their stuff together. The witnesses kept changing their stories, and thus the prosecution didn't have a strong enough case against Brandon Craig. I have no doubt that Brandon Craig did this travesty, however, the proof was not evident. It is a shame to have wasted so much time and money on a case that had no chance.

    For the parents of these kids, I hope they someday find it in their hearts to release the bitterness and pain that can do so much harm in their own personal lives. I know it has been hard, and will continue to be hard to go on....

    April 2, 2009 at 7:55 pm |
  3. Linda Rockwell

    I feel terrible for the parents, and Brandon Craig most likely committed the crime. But the witnesses were terrible, and they told terribly contradicting stories. The DA's certainly did the best they could with what they had, but they were not able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. And that's the burden of proof our system requires.

    April 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  4. Yulai

    I agree with what you write, and believe it's is important to set cases like this in focus when it showes that America tries, even though it struggles, to respect the rights set forth in the Universal Decleration of Human Rights. In this particular example as you mentioned; innocent until proven guilty.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    Hopefully, the prosecution will be more diligent in gathering their evidence on a suspect and making sure that it all "fits" before they even arrest people. It is a waste of time and money to arrest someone where you cannot meet the burden of proof within the confines of a reasonable doubt.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm |

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