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Jury trial victory only can follow a not guilty plea- Fairfax criminal lawyer

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Jury trial victory only can follow a not guilty plea- Fairfax criminal lawyer

Jury trial victory only can follow a not guilty plea- Fairfax criminal lawyer

Jury trial victory can only arise after a not guilty plea, says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Jury trial practice is the ultimate of criminal defense. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer I know that great criminal defense and cross examination teacher Terry McCarthy may have overstated that a non-jury trial is akin to a slow plea, but I have nonetheless experienced the drastically wonderful (but not always wonderful) difference between a jury and non-jury trial for a criminal defendant.

Jury trial victory starts with criminal defense lawyers fully committed to their clients’ cause

Jury trial victory and most other victories for the accused start with dedicated criminal defense lawyers, who look beyond any revulsion they may have for the alleged crime, and see their client as a human in need of the lawyer’s full defense.

Jury trial acquittal for man accused of killing and dismembering young child after testimony that he confessed

When I first learned of last week’s Chicago jury trial acquittal of Kamel Harris for allegedly killing and dismembering the young Kamel Knox — after three inmates testified that he had admitted to the alleged crime — I reacted both by wondering how much he may have bucked the odds for a conviction, and wanting to find out how much his public defender lawyers contributed to his acquittal.

Harris had the good fortune of having at least two very experienced Cook County public defender lawyers at his jury trial- Kulmeet Galhotra and Julie Koehler. Their victory must have come with much persistent toil. The prosecutor spun a tale of Kamel Harris snapping at being left with Kamel Knox for well over a week while his mother sought for work out of town. What a brilliantly persuasive counterstory presented by the defense that Kamel’s mother would leave town when bored, and became decreasingly in touch with her son and Harris as the days passed, which played well with Harris’s assertion that a woman claiming to be Kamel’s mother, by phone, okayed Harris’s handing Kamel to people who came to pick him up.

What good fortune that Harris’s lawyers countered the jury trial testimony of three inmates to Harris’s alleged confession to killing Knox, with an inmate who testified that they admitted to having cooked up their story. How amazing that Harris’s testimony — so often dangerous even for innocent criminal defendants’ testimony — did not undo his defense. Had Kamel’s mother not objected, Harris would have entered into an involuntary manslaughter plea deal to spend more time in jail beyond the three years he had already spent awaiting trial.

The moment of truth needs a criminal defense warrior rather than a lawyer known to be buddy-buddy with the system

Sometimes I hear of criminal defendants who prefer to hire a former prosecutor or other lawyer in tight with prosecutors, under the theory that they can cut the defendant the best deal. In addition to my reply about that (here and here), I say that fully preparing a criminal case for trial makes it more likely to settle, and preparing the case for a plea deal makes it more likely to go to trial. An accused person is best served by a lawyer who is a criminal defense warrior, both deft and diplomatic at negotiating settlements, while fully ready at a moment’s notice to engage in trial combat with killer instincts.

I deeply thank and bow to the true believer criminal defense lawyers — many unsung heroes — who toil away until late at night on the road to courtroom victory.

Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz remains consistently trial battle ready in successfully defending thousands of people accused of felony, misdemeanor, DUI, drug and marijuana offenses. To discuss your case with Jon Katz, please call his staff at 703-383-1100.