Sunday, April 17, 2011

Accused vs media etc

The defence counsel (advocate for the accused) has to fight his case against so many invisible forces. Apparently, there are only two lawyers standing opposite to him: the councel for the complainant and the district attorney.
I had moved the court for the after-arrest bail of a lady who was allegedly involved in the murder of a ten-and-half years old boy. They lady has three minor daughters – one of them a suckling baby – with her in the jail. There was not much incriminating evidence against the lady. My case was good.
On the night before the hearing, a news channel ran a report on the ”brutal murder” of an “innocent boy” by his “step brothers” over a “property dispute”. The newsreport was repeated for two hours at prime time. The reporter has taken version from everyone except the accused. The world “alleged” is as alian to our media as “sex”. The newsreport inscribed the word killers in the minds of all those who watched it. The newsreport had decided the case hours before it was to be argued in the court.
Now I had to argue my case against the media and a hostile public opinion. As soon as the case was called up for hearing, the court room started filling with people who were not directly involved with the case. They were representing public opinion, non-government social organisations and morality.
They all had seen the newsreport. The judge had seen it as well, contrary to legal ethics. Now I was to argue my case against all these forces and I lost my case.

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