Just because you did it doesn’t mean you’re guilty???

By | January 5, 2015
Just because you did it doesn't mean you're guilty,

“Just because you did it doesn’t mean you’re guilty.” Really?

When I look at the message on attorney Larry L. Archie’s Greensboro, NC billboard, I have to wonder what was in the good lawyer’s mind. Is he making some deep philosophical point that I’m missing? Or does he mean exactly what his words seem to say?

The message of the billboard seems to be that whether or not you have committed a crime doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that a good lawyer (like Mr. Archie) can get you off. So, even if you did it, don’t worry about it. Let’s get together and work on making sure you’re never held accountable for what you did.

Can this really be what Larry Archie meant to communicate? I understand that the purpose of the ad is to drum up business, and Mr. Archie is a criminal defense attorney. And I understand that everyone deserves their day in court, with competent legal representation, whether they actually committed a crime or not.

But have we as a society really come to the place where we are ok with attorneys advertising to criminals that committing crimes isn’t a problem if you have a good lawyer to get you off?

Woe to men . . . who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man!

Isaiah 5:22-23 (NKJV)

I’m guessing that nobody pointed out to Larry Archie the moral and ethical ramifications of his message before it was put up on a billboard for all the world to see. Of course, there’s the possibility that he wouldn’t be concerned about such things anyway, but I won’t make that assumption.

Instead, I hope that now that the billboard is up, Mr. Archie will see his message with different eyes, and that billboard won’t stay up. If it does, that will say a lot about Larry L. Archie as a person – and about us as a society.


Photo: James A. Smith Sr. on Twitter

14 thoughts on “Just because you did it doesn’t mean you’re guilty???

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  2. Dave Mack

    Better yet, what if Michael Brown had been taught not to steal and beat up smaller people just because he was a BIG thug and could? What if his parents had taught him anything about living in a civilized society, listen to and obey a policeman doing his duty and trying to protect his stupid butt from being harmed by vehicles driving in the street? What is his parents would have gotten off the dope they spent the welfare money they were being paid to feed Michael with? What if LBJ’s Great Society had never broken up the black families and helped black men (and worthless white males) leave their baby’s Momma and go out and knock up another woman so she too could receive about $800 a month from the government to support her drug habit first, then that child? I know that is a lot of “what ifs” but wouldn’t the world be a better place if they were solved?

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  4. Cliff Forbes

    Legally, someone could have done some misdeed but not be criminally liable. The best example is someone legally insane committing a homicide. There are other legal defenses such as duress that could be applicable.

    1. pastorronf

      Cliff, the instances you cite are certainly true. But I don’t believe that’s what this billboard is referring to.

  5. ignatzz

    Isn’t this guy tainting his own jury pool? I mean some jurors are likely to have seen that billboard, which will give them a negative view of his clients, and the assumption that he’s trying to get them off even though they did it.

  6. Rmartin Photos

    You dont have to be insane, its the law to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt. people dont you remember that law? I dont know what to say about people these days. Evidence is key. The court system is set up this way and dont even have to admit you did anything us plead the fifth. Thats not just on TV….lol its real and you have to put the person at the problem with evidence. And then the evidence has to be presented according to the federal laws of the court. That means some evidence cant be used. ugh

  7. Ken

    Lighten up, everyone. The bill board ad, is doing nothing more than using humor to attract attention. If most conservatives had their way, trials would be done away with, after all, according to the conservative mind set, “if they weren’t guilty, they wouldn’t have been arrested, therefore, no need for a trial.”

    If this ad upset you, then you would have really been upset, by a billboard ad, I once saw posted by a bail bondsman: “Go ahead and do it. You can always get out on bail.”

  8. Challenger

    The presumption is INNOCENCE!! A “presumption” is the equivalent of “belief”. The presumption of innocence is sometimes accorded short shrift in the courtroom by people who are all to ready to embrace notions of scandal and trust the assertions of the state. The legal world, on the other hand, is also full of examples of defendants acquitted in the face of overwhelming evidence – e.g., the police who beat Rodney King, O.J. Simpson. The Justice system is not meant to mirror past events and does not even come close to being a time machine that accurately reveals history. Rather, it has all the flaws of the people who design and operate in it. The trial and appeal process is somewhat similar to academic peer review with a jury or appellate court in place as an arbiter to decide which of two adversarial positions prevails within the set of prescribed standards.

    This billboard communicates nothing short of and nothing more than an interest in providing effective and vigorous legal representation that remains a fundamental constitutional right of anyone being prosecuted by an all powerful government that reserves even the power to take life to serve the ends of “Justice”. The fact that people might view this as endorsement of unethical or illegal tactics by a lawyer reflects more on their own distortions of perspective than it does on the messaging of Mr. Archie.

  9. Pierre-Paul

    There is more to guilt than “doing it”. For some crimes, “intent” is part of the crime. If Mr X, stressed out and preoccupied with other matters, absent-mindedly drove away from a self-service station without paying, he “did it”, but isn’t guilty of theft. If Mr X strikes an assailant in self-defence, causing severe injury or death to his assailant, he “did it”, but is not guilty of murder.

  10. Justin Dubya

    Whoever wrote this article is an idiot. Have you been in a coma your whole life? Money buys you out. Where have you been? Your clueless. Mr. Archie is stating fact.

  11. bill

    Does it really matter in the scheme of things as to what this lawyer meant ? he got uyour attention…IT’S BRILLIANT ADVERTISING !


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