When a murder occurs police seek swift justice. Anyone who had contact with the deceased or is seen with his property after his death is immediately suspicious. While this point of view may seem effective, it often leads to false arrests and serious charges being levied against innocent individuals. Since these charges carry life-altering consequences and can ruin an individual’s reputation, a strong criminal defense is a necessity for anyone accused of murder.
One case where a thirst for justice may lead to a hasty, perhaps false, conclusion is playing out in Atlanta. Police are looking for two individuals they believe were a part of the murder of a mega-church pastor’s brother. According to authorities, surveillance footage shows the two individuals using checks that were stolen from the scene of the murder. Though police have only labeled these individuals as persons of interest, it seems as if the police in these instances have already made up their mind about the accused’s guilt.
A criminal conviction for murder carries a punishment in the form of the death penalty, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or life in prison. The stakes are life and death. An experienced criminal defense team can be pivotal in avoiding these penalties. By creating a strategy to challenge the allegations, an accused may be able to win his case.
In a murder case, a defense team has several options. The defense can seek dismissed charges by proving the accused did not kill the deceased. This will involve establishing an alibi and discrediting motive. Alternatively, the defense can seek lesser charges by proving the accused did not mean to kill the deceased or the accused acted in self-defense. In the case mentioned above, the defense will likely argue that possession of the stolen checkbook does not prove murder.
Murder charges are perhaps the most serious of all criminal allegations. A conviction can be life ending for a defendant. The choice of a criminal defense attorney should be made carefully as it could mean the difference between life and death.
Source: CBS Atlanta, “Police: 2 more people of interest sought in murder of mega-church pastor’s brother,” Mike Paluska, May 22, 2013