I think the biggest statewide news of the day [Friday] is that former Denver Bronco Perrish Cox was acquitted on two counts of sexual assault of a victim unable to assess her condition. I of course have no idea of what actually happened over that Labor Day weekend in 2010, but everything I heard in the media made it look pretty bad for Cox.
Cox, Demarius Thomas and the accuser and others had been out partying, then came back to Cox' apartment. At that point, stories differ. It seems, however, that the accuser contacted Cox the next day and asked if they had “intimate contact.” Cox denied any such contact. Vehemently, it appears. As it turns out, the accuser found herself pregnant shortly thereafter and DNA showed Cox to be the father.
I thought it looked pretty bad. But Cox' lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, must’ve done a tremendous job. Cox was looking at 2 years to life in prison.
There are no winners in a case like this. But I give major props to Steinberg for making the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt before it can lock someone in a cage. The state has an awesome power. It can take your life if you are convicted of a capital crime, it can certainly keep you locked up. It is important that someone makes the state prove its case. Even if the defendant appears to be guilty as sin – we can never let the state skate on its responsibility to use its power in a constitutional manner.
When we start to let the state slide – because we think someone is obviously guilty – there is nothing to stop the state from sliding when you get accused of something.