Every year, millions of television viewers tune in for police and court procedural shows like Law & Order and CSI—but just how accurate are these shows in depicting how our criminal justice system actually works? According to Attorney Ian Friedman in a new interview with Cleveland Jewish News, not very.
"I just think it feeds the public a completely different perception and expectation as to what should be presented," Friedman told the paper. "I guess I would be like a doctor watching one of the medical shows and the surgeon sews the person up wrong. Nobody else would notice that."
Why is this disparity worth confronting? Because according to Friedman and other criminal defense attorneys, the expectations these show set affect potential jurors. According to Friedman, those expecting a drama to unfold in the courtroom will be sorely disappointed.
"I address that on day one with my clients," Friedman said about witnesses and defendants breaking down or lashing out during the trial. "There’s to be absolutely no emotion in the courtroom regardless of what someone may say about them."
Attorney Friedman also said modern jurors are also frequently expecting the defendant to take the stand-- and may become suspicious when they don't. "In real life, (defendants testifying) is the exception to the rule," Friedman explained. "The problem is the people have seen the defendant testify every single night during primetime, so the reason this guy isn’t testifying is he’s got to be hiding something, so you really do have to address that."
The Evolving Jury Box
For Attorney Friedman, addressing the public's evolving understanding of how our criminal justice system works is part of a criminal defense attorney's job. According to him, wrangling jury expectations has always key to maintaining a viable trial and will continue to be in the future.
“Society evolves. So does strategy in the courtroom," Friedman told Cleveland Jewish News. "You have to address the current jurors, the present-day jurors, and you have to address all of their concerns and experiences. They are different today than they were five years ago, and they will be very different particularly as the advent of technology continues."
If you have been accused of a crime, then your choice in representation is critical. Ian N. Friedman is one of the most accomplished and sought-after criminal defense attorneys in Cleveland. He and his team have built their reputation on providing hard-hitting defense that ensures that each of their clients will have their voice properly heard before the law.
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