Don’t be too quick to judge in murder case


Speakout

Our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and community of Esperanza Maria Fayant in the wake of her tragic death. 

The news of Esperanza’s death has been especially heart-wrenching for us because we have known Robert Price Jr. for most of his life. The thought he would have any culpability in harming anyone, let alone a child, is nothing less than inconceivable to both of us. 

While Robert may have some prior offenses in his history, none of them would remotely suggest that he would be negligent in abusing a child, and it is preposterous that he would have intentionally contributed to any of the crimes for which he is being accused of. Simply put, he doesn’t have it in him.

Contentiously disconcerting is the rush to judgment in this case. The press conference held by the state’s attorney and police chief Friday morning was entirely meant to incriminate. 

While they may have presented the public with some facts in this case which they believe to be pertinent, we can tell you they did not present the public with the whole story. 

The consequences as such are that the state’s attorney and the police have incited damning and inflammatory comments that have gone viral on social media and news outlets across the state, thereby making it nearly impossible for the defendant(s) to have any presumption of innocence let alone seating a fair and impartial jury. If you think that doesn’t have scary ramifications for our justice system, think again. 

People v. Steven Avery, 1985 (wrongfully convicted) 

People v. Lawrence DeLisle, 1990 

People v. Central Park 5, 1990 (wrongfully convicted) 

People v. Brendan Dassey, 2007 

All of these men were convicted at trial because of unscrupulous police tactics, overzealous prosecution and scathingly derogatory pre-trial publicity. 

Trying cases in the media is not only unethical, it should be viewed as prosecutorial misconduct. 

Even Hammurabi’s ancient code of laws (an eye for an eye), which predates the Bible (1750 B.C.), included a presumption of innocence to the degree that those who brought accusation before the court could be faced with capital punishment if they were found to be wrong or caused damages to another individual. 

Additionally, to those of you who are basing your convictions on religious beliefs, you may want to keep in mind that Christ spoke the following words to encourage a limit of mankind’s justice. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and judge ye not least ye be judged. 

Understandably, the death of a child elicits very strong emotions. However, passing judgment based on dichotomous thinking and emotional reasoning does not bring about truth in justice. It only serves to fuel a lynch mob mentality and puts everyone at risk of prosecution for crimes of which they may be innocent. 

The facts are not all in regarding this case. There are extenuating circumstances that the public is not aware of, and everyone needs to know that before passing judgment.

In the meantime, in the interest of journalistic integrity and a balance of justice, there are more questions that need to be asked in this case, especially in regard to the press conference that the state’s attorney and the police held on Friday.

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