Unfortunately, the criminal justice system can sometimes be prejudiced against those with criminal records. Sometimes, a prior criminal record might not be admissible in court, but it is difficult for jurors to disregard prior criminal acts they may have knowledge of. An experienced Birmingham criminal defense attorney can make a big difference in overcoming this obstacle at trial, which is why it is important to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney that not only has experience handling charges like the ones you might be facing but also dealing with the rigors of a criminal trial. This importance was recently highlighted when a Birmingham man that once served time for his role in the slaying of three individuals in Birmingham in 1991 was acquitted of the 2012 murder of another man in Birmingham.
According to AL.com, the defendant entered an apartment on July 8, 2012 and was confronted with a gun by one of the men that lived there. The defendant was able to get the gun away from the man when another man living in the home appeared and began shooting at the defendant while the defendant was allegedly emptying the bullets from the original man’s gun. This resulted in the defendant being shot four times before being able to escape and being driven to a local hospital. At some point during the incident, the man that had originally confronted the defendant was fatally shot and died.
According to the article, defendant was originally on trial for capital murder for this death. Capital murder charges carry the possibility of the death penalty if a person is convicted. The original charges were lowered in March to murder during the course of a burglary when ballistics testing identified the bullets that caused the man’s death came from the roommate’s gun, and not the defendant. At that time, prosecutors still believed that they had enough evidence to prove that the defendant had initiated a chain of events that resulted in the man’s death.
The Jury’s Role
The jury’s role in a criminal trial can often be overlooked, but it is extremely important. From selecting jurors to preparing testimony, an attorney must keep the jury in mind at all times. According to the article, one of the defendant’s attorneys in this trial noted that the jury had been extremely attentive in trying to understand evidence presented and how that evidence needed to be weighed legally. It is potentially the care and tactics that the criminal defense attorneys took that ultimately enabled the jury to acquit the defendant of the charges against him, sparing the defendant of serious consequences that may have included a long prison sentence. According to the article, prosecutors agreed that the jury gave sufficient consideration to the evidence presented.
Legal Assistance with Serious Criminal Charges
Murder and related charges are serious, and carry severe consequences that could include death. The case above highlights an incident where a man was facing potential capital murder charges, but criminal defense attorneys focused their time and energy in ensuring that the defendant’s rights were protected. Doing so, along with properly selecting and analyzing a jury, is an important skill that criminal defense attorneys must possess. If you are facing these types of charges, you need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling serious charges and in working with juries, like those on the criminal defense team at Alabama Criminal Lawyers who are serious about leaving no stone unturned in your defense.