"Innocent until proven guilty." Is that really the case? What happens when you’re innocent, arrested and headed to court? For Private First Class Steven McDowell, it meant facing a system that assumed the worst of him. The experience cost him thousands. McDowell faced the real possibility of incarceration. An arrest alone leaves an indelible mark, ruining career prospects.
Steven McDowell’s arrest was based on surveillance video of the crime. Police say McDowell looked like the man in the video. Our viewers saw it differently. When we presented McDowell’s picture next to the man in the video, comment after comment pointed out many differences between the two men.
So does our system work for the innocent? Huntsville District Attorney Robert Broussard says, “In this case we got it right.” And they’d do it the same way if it happened again today. Broussard had a lot to say, including his thoughts on accusations of racial prejudice.
How do you feel about our criminal justice system? Watch our special report, Innocent in Our Legal System, tonight on WHNT News 19 at 10.