Someone might want to let Donald Briskman down in Alabama know about that after he raised the bar just about as high as he could for his own client - former Oakland Raider quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
"We fully expect he will be exonerated from these charges. That's exactly how I feel. I've had an opportunity within the last week to get some additional information which bolsters my feeling that he's ultimately going to be acquitted." -- Donald BriskmanIt's one thing to say that you believe the evidence will show that your client wasn't guilty or that the evidence doesn't support the charges -- it's quite another thing to inform the world that you expect your client to be exonerated. And might I remind my fellow counselor that there's a world of difference between being acquitted and being exonerated. Being acquitted means raising enough reasonable doubt to convince a jury to find your client not guilty; being exonerated means proving your client didn't do what the prosecutor said he did -- it means assuming the burden of proof.
Maybe Mr. Briskman was stricken by mike-in-face disease and just couldn't control what came out after leaving the courtroom. As less than a third of his practice is devoted to criminal defense, maybe he just didn't realize what a blunder he was making. In the civil courthouse both sides carry the burden of proof; one side meets it and the other doesn't. Over in the strange world of the criminal justice system, on the other hand, only the prosecutor carries a burden and we win if he can't meet it.
Mr. Russell, who has joined Ryan Leaf at the top of the list of the NFL's biggest draft busts is facing a felony charge of possession of codeine.