Partner Kacey McBroom Thoughts on Enger Javier’s Story

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Yet another case making headlines in which an innocent person serves time for a crime he likely didn’t commit – but in this case, Enger Javier spent two years in Rikers before being granted bail and has been on house arrest for almost two additional years awaiting trial.  The details of the case against Enger Javier can be found in this article. 

The presumption of innocence does not apply when deciphering bail.  The judge is to assume the charges are true and then make an assessment as to the flight risk and danger to the community.   The court typically will not hear argument concerning the strength of the people’s evidence or evidence which exonerates the defendant at the bail setting stage.  The result is that an innocent man without the financial means to post bail is deprived of his freedom for many months, even years, prior to trial.

This case is an example of how law enforcement can get carried away with their own narrative.  Once a narrative has been settled upon, law enforcement sometimes shoehorns in evidence which doesn’t quite fit, giving little credence to – or choosing to disregard – evidence tending to challenge that narrative. This is a far cry from objective investigation and fact-finding and gives honest, ethical officers a bad name. 

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