By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Many criminal cases can be analogized to a mosaic.
A mosaic can have hundreds if not thousands of small tiles of all different colors, shapes and textures. Someone doesn’t even have to be very skilled to arrange the tiles in a way to create the picture they see in their mind’s eye.
Similarly a criminal case often has hundreds of bits of information such as witness accounts, video tape, or scientific evidence. A person interpreting all of the scattered information, too, can and will create a picture based on their initial impression of what they see in their mind.
This is where the analogy gets interesting — the mosaic is all based on the perception of the person interpreting the bits and pieces.
Let’s say the person making the picture is a law enforcement officer who decided guilt before even looking at the pieces. That person would naturally take the pieces he or she needed to make the picture they want and potentially discard pieces which don’t fit their vision. They don’t do it to be mean or to frame someone — it’s just how people think. For instance, most police reports simply don’t contain many positive facts for my client. It’s not that there isn’t good evidence for my client the officer knows about — it just got ignored like a tile piece which got left on the floor and swept into a pile.
The good news is we have the ability to do the same thing to give a jury, judge or even the prosecutor a COMPLETE picture. We can make a mosaic which we know reflects how we see the picture — only we won’t discard pieces just because they don’t seem to matter to us.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article should be considered as legal advice. For legal advice about any situation you should contact an attorney directly. Communications sent through this blog are not privileged.