FanPost

Concerns for Jameis Winston and FSU

As I sit at my desk here in Japan on what would have been a normal Thursday for me, I am instead incredibly saddened by the breaking news about Jameis. My usual daily routine includes opening-up Tomahawk Nation while I eat my lunch and listening to the Jeff Cameral Show on podcast. I usually get back to work in a great mood and already looking forward to Saturday (or Sunday as it is here in the Far East). Today, I'm distraught and afraid to even look at any more stories with Jameis Winston and sexual assault in the title for fear there will be more bad news. In full disclosure, I'm a Marine Corps Officer and Judge Advocate. More specifically, in my current position I'm a criminal defense attorney for the Marine Corps. Not sure if any of you have been following the news about sexual assaults within the DOD but suffice it to say that the issue has massive attention from Congress. The sad part is, most of what people know about the crime "sexual assault" is based on misinformation. Unfortunately for me, I am exposed to this issue on a daily basis and it is quite frankly exhausting. It's exhausting to fight against fools, liars, incompetent police, false reports, religious do-gooders, sexual assault victim-advocates, societal bias, rogue commanders/prosecutors (or DAs), and otherwise against those whose sole knowledge of the legal justice system is what they've seen on NCIS or Law and Order SVU. For the majority of people, at least in the back of their minds, a mere allegation = guilty. It is also unfortunate that some of my clients are in fact guilty. As a father, I would want to think that should my daughters become victims, they will get justice. On the other hand, as a lawyer and supporter of the constitution, I am equally hopeful that our justice system will exonerate those who are not guilty and in my experience, that is most people accused of these types of crimes. One of my former bosses had a great line: "You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride." I have absolutely no idea of what happened with Jameis Winston and no idea of what is in the investigation. I don't know whether he was involved or not or for that matter what exactly he is alleged to have been involved in. I will by no means speculate on what may or should happen to Jameis. But one thing I'm sure of, it will be a very difficult situation for him over at least the next year or two even if the investigation comes back in his favor. It will be tough for him to "beat the ride." The ride will include negative press, idiots who will call him a "rapist" and (could) include a lengthy period caught-up in the criminal justice system. I really hope this doesn't derail his Heisman chances (although I think it will) or cause him to play poorly (although I think it could). But more importantly, I hope this does not cause damage to his reputation, his likeability, and his trustworthiness as they are all worth more in a man's life than a national championship or a bronze statue. Unfortunately, I think it will hurt him, and that makes me sad because I think he seems like a good person. It also makes me sad for our university. FSU is in a great place right now: academics on the rise, national spotlight, players seem to have "high character," donations coming in and TV contracts are good. I fear now that we will have to endure more BS about how our school produces thugs/rapists/etc. I am concerned because I want our school's reputation to continue to improve and things like this are never good. Players like Greg Dent don't have the national spotlight. Jameis Winston does. Please don't take this post for me being a "Debbie Downer." I'm not. I am very proud of Jameis Winston and proud of our school. I just look at this through the lens of someone who has to deal with this issue every day and sees the negative impact on the people involved. I really hope the State's Attorney and the TPD get this moving and cleared-up quickly. I am a Florida lawyer but I practice in the Federal/military system so my knowledge of where this case goes from here is limited. I would love to hear the thoughts of you FL lawyers that practice criminal law back home. Go 'Noles >>------;->

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