I HAVE UPDATED THIS POST. SEE THE LINK BELOW. THE VERDICT IS IN. WE MAY NOW REST OUR CASE.
I know, I know – innocent until proven guilty. I work for attorneys, and have for most of my adult life. I get it. This is America, benefit of the doubt, I understand, and am thankful to live in this country. But . . . and isn’t there always a “but” after such words?
We have a situation here in the Tampa Bay area that has raised the hairs on my arms, extended the veins in my neck and caused my nostrils to flare, blood pressure to rise – or, to play on the words of Howard Beale in the movie, Network (1976), “I’m mad as hell and I don’t think we should have to take this anymore.”
Here we are with an accused rapist, who purportedly held himself out to be an undercover police officer, pulled a woman, and (I repeat) purportedly raped her. His trial has begun, and bless God, he has chosen to represent himself, go it alone, appear pro se. Being in the legal field for this long, I am also all too familiar with the phrase, “He who represents himself has a fool for an attorney.”
Now, if this guy were to be proven guilty, then this would be considered nothing less than re-victimization of the victim. He stood there, in his suit and tie, interrogating the victim. She did a stellar job of answering the questions boldly, strong and brave. She was unwavering in her conviction, convinced she was sitting in front of her attacker.
According to the news reports and media coverage, the accused has danced all around the fringes of having been disrespectful of the Court (that means he’s smart-talked the judge here in the south), and then abruptly decided it was time to back up a few steps, reconsider the whole pro se thing and ask for a public defender – or a mistrial – on the grounds he was incapable of giving himself proper representation and counsel.
Draw your own conclusions. He is and will continue to be innocent unless proven guilty. I’m just sayin’ . . .
UPDATE – THE VERDICT IS IN: 01/20/11 – http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_tampa/fake-cop-luis-harris-found-guilty-of-rape%2C-kidnapping