[Disclaimer: This week’s submitted blog post was provided to SCCDB anonymously. We felt it important to publish this blog to illustrate major changes that need to be made within the criminal justice system.]
In some countries, there is no such thing as due process and people simply accused of committing crimes can be imprisoned or even put to death. I am grateful every day that the United States is not one of those countries.
Though, the rise of social media has made it quite common for the innocence or guilt of an individual to be argued on social networking sites, while the court system itself remains fairly unbiased. Even if someone is guilty of a crime, there are many different ways that they can still be acquitted of all charges and avoid any penalty whatsoever.
Many of you are used to reading the tales of the wrongly accused, but there are many of us who were right to be accused. . .because we were guilty. I am one of these guilty individuals who was found innocent of the first-degree murder charge brought against me.
But, I wasn’t innocent. What I was, was lucky. Lucky that I had the resources to hire an exceptional criminal defense lawyer, and lucky that I am a woman. I wonder often if the roles had been reversed, and I was a man who was accused of killing a woman, how differently things could have been.
This isn’t going to be some morbid description of how I got away with it and how I’m so proud of myself for killing someone and not being punished for it. I feel extreme guilt for what happened. Sure, he might have “had it coming” in many people’s eyes, but I still took someone’s life, and I should have been found guilty. I should have been punished.
I had a very skilled criminal defense lawyer. You may be wondering why I made sure to get a great attorney if I know I should be in prison. I agree that I should have been punished, but I wasn’t going to throw my own life away either. We played the criminal justice system game like anyone else would have. But, that’s the problem.
We didn’t fabricate evidence or provide fake witnesses; we followed the letter of the law. In doing so, I was able to avoid a conviction. Defending yourself will often result in an acquittal, apparently. We could argue back and forth about when a person has the right to defend themselves, but the point here is to show that the criminal justice system has its flaws, despite being one of the most progressive systems in the world.
People who are guilty get away with it all the time, but not everyone will feel horrible about it like I do. They’ll just wait for their next victim, and hope they get away with it again.