Dismissed Case and Evidence of Innocence Still Counts as a 'Brush With the Law'

More on Cedric Benson’s arrest for Boating While Intoxicated here, but I was alternately amused and/or saddened by this line in the AP report about the recent Austin incident:

Benson had a couple of brushes with the law during his college days.

He was arrested for marijuana possession in May of 2002 in his hometown of Midland, Texas. The charges were dropped when he passed a drug test and other evidence surfaced to clear him.

Hmmmmmmm.

The charges were dropped. He passed drug test. And, according to the writer, ‘other evidence surfaced to clear him’. But we won’t say what that was.

But, and here’s the important thing to remember, as you read this story about Benson being arrested, let’s not forget that he has had other ‘brushes with the law’.

Clearly the reporter has included this information because it’s pertinent to the main story. If we apply the well known rule that ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’… does that mean that:

  • Because he’s been arrested before he’s more likely to be guilty this time or
  • Because his prior arrest had to be dropped - at least in part because of evidence of innocence - that ‘there go the police, arresting an innocent man again’?

I’m just asking, that’s all.

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
http://blog.austindefense.com/admin/trackback/70120
Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jeffrey Deutsch - May 4, 2008 5:34 PM

Hello Jamie,

My guess is it's the former...people tend to construe even prior accusations as evidence for present guilt. I think it stinks, but unfortunately I suspect much of the American public thinks that way.

Cheers,

Jeff Deutsch

Jamie - May 4, 2008 5:39 PM

Jeff:

I wish it were #2, but I know that ain't so...

Alec - May 4, 2008 8:44 PM

Can't say I'm really surprised. Journalists have been so indoctrinated by anti-crime groups that criminals are released because of "technicalities." These "technicalities" often include, inter alia, constitutional violations as well as, you know, "factual" innocence," which I think journalists take to mean that, where there's smoke, there's fire, just not enough smoke in this case.

But far from shocking. This is the same media that still refuses to acknowledge their complicity in the build up to the Iraq war, among other prominent sins. The same media that is hesitant to have gay journalists report on same-sex marriage, but doesn't blink at having Catholic reporters cover Emperor Palpati---er, I mean Pope Benedict.

I don't trust modern journalism on virtually all topics they cover, apart from their fluff distractions (i.e., cute animals hour). Their coverage of criminal issues, particularly local press coverage, is laughable.

Jamie - May 5, 2008 8:29 AM

Alec:

I can speak best on the press' lack of understanding of local stories. I've found that more often than deliberately misrepresenting 'what went on in court today' they simply more often just miss the point. Completely.

Julia - May 17, 2008 5:36 AM

So does my being detained and fingerprinted after a "failure to appear" 16 years ago constitute a "brush with the law"? I live in constant fear that some tiny slip-up or offhand comment I made in the past is going to figure prominently in assassinating my character during a trial. Watching "Brokedown Palace," a retooling of "Midnight Express," wasn't reassuring on that point. Doesn't really make me want to travel to third-world countries with corrupt police (isn't that all of them?) I was thinking about strategies to forstall any kind of trouble. Do I go to customs myself the minute I get to the airport and say, "I would like to help the Thai government in their fight against drug trafficking. Please search my bag in case some drug smuggler has hijacked it. I do not want to carry narcotics in my luggage." I wonder if that would fly.

Julia - May 17, 2008 5:37 AM

So does my being detained and fingerprinted after a "failure to appear" 16 years ago constitute a "brush with the law"? I live in constant fear that some tiny slip-up or offhand comment I made in the past is going to figure prominently in assassinating my character during a trial. Watching "Brokedown Palace," a retooling of "Midnight Express," wasn't reassuring on that point. Doesn't really make me want to travel to third-world countries with corrupt police (isn't that all of them?) I was thinking about strategies to forestall any kind of trouble. Do I go to customs myself the minute I get to the airport and say, "I would like to help the Thai government in their fight against drug trafficking. Please search my bag in case some drug smuggler has hijacked it. I do not want to carry narcotics in my luggage." I wonder if that would fly. Um, literally. Ahem.

San Antonio Attorney - September 8, 2008 9:20 AM

Perhaps, there is really lack of information to justify the offense, this could have meant the dismissal of the case. It is unfair to conclude that the man is guilty simply because he undergoes a trial by publicity.

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.







Remember personal info?