Right to a Fair Trial and Being Treated as Innocent Until Proven Guilty

30 Mar

RighttoTrialOne of the basic international and constitutional rights is a right to a fair trial, and to treated as innocent until proven guilty.   Unfortunately that has not been the experience of many in Arlington courts and it jail, whether it be a high profile case like that of Michael Gardner, a person who is deaf,* or others, who have been written about from time to time in this blog.

Very unhealthy for modern society; not even fit for Neanderthals.

Read more: Deaf Immigrant Jailed 6 Weeks With No Access to Interpreter*

*: Abreham Zemedagegehu is deaf and he found himself locked up in jail by the Arlington Courts and the Arlington County Sheriff.   He knew he was in jail, but he didn’t know why.  Eventually, Abreham Zemedagegehu learned that he’d been accused of stealing an iPad — an iPad whose owner later found it. He spent the next six weeks in jail, unable to communicate with his jailers because he is deaf. He described a frightening, isolated experience in which medical procedures were performed without his consent and he feared for his safety.

On March 14, 2014, Zemedagegehu struck a plea deal, pleading guilty to lesser misdemeanor charges in exchange for time served. Zemedagegehu says he only took the deal to get of jail, and that he didn’t steal the iPad.

Zemedagegehu’s public defender filed a motion after the guilty plea seeking to have the conviction overturned, saying prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that the man who claimed his iPad was stolen actually had found it some time before the guilty plea. Prosecutors deny withholding evidence.

A judge refused to overturn the conviction, saying the appeal had been filed too late.

Given that it was Arlington, his mistreatment is not surprising — it is routine for the Arlington County judicial system.