The right to a fair trial is one of the most important requirements that must be upheld for a criminal defendant. This right goes hand-in-hand with the presumption of innocence. The presumption of innocence means that the State has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the offense for which he or she is charged.
The reason for this is that, in reality, the presumption of innocence does not have the bite that it used to have. How many times, for example, during the Casey Anthony trial did you hear someone say "you know that she did it," "you know she murdered her daughter," or "I hope that they give her the death penalty for what she did to that child." This is water-cooler talk, right. We all have these converstations.
However, this kind of water cooler talk must not enter the courtroom and it so important for the jury to keep this in mind. Stay tuned as we continue this topic over the next week.
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