We’ll call this a victory lap. Terry Starr was acquitted of all charges, just like Dirty Traverse said.
I first wrote about problems I saw in the case against Starr back in April of 2019. Again, I told you back in August that I thought there were serious shortcomings in the charges against Starr. Finally, I said last week that I didn’t see the case ending in a conviction.
Of course, we don’t know why the jury acquitted him. They could have agreed with my thoughts, or maybe they saw their own issues with it.
This article details the emotions behind going through a trial, even if you’re ultimately found not guilty. There is still the expense, and in this case, nearly a year of waiting and worrying. That’s what the prosecutor can take from you with the stroke of a pen even if they don’t have the evidence to convict you. Yes, there’s the whole right to a speedy trial thing, but in this case, they started with felony charges and the bindover to Circuit Court didn’t even happen until September after the initial arrest was in April. Practically, Starr had to have a handwriting expert to have any chance of defending himself. The end result was the case looming over his head for nearly an entire year, even though ultimately he was exonerated. The District Court judge is supposed to serve as a gate keeper for bad cases getting through to the Circuit Court, but that check and balance failed because it went through only to come back to District Court as misdemeanors.