WV Civil Rights Lawyer

Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Law

God, it feels good.

I haven’t posted in a good while.  The reason was that I had been preparing for a particularly contentious criminal jury trial.

I am happy to announce that this afternoon, after three days of trial, we finished closing arguments on the case, and the jury came back with two unanimous verdicts of not guilty.  It was probably the most emotionally difficult case I have ever struggled with.

The best part about it was, during my closing argument, I asked the jury, when they went into the jury room to begin deliberations, to pick a foreperson, sit down, and take a vote on whether there was any reasonable doubt.  If all hands were up, I asked them to come right back out and deliver a verdict of not guilty.

Apparently that is what they did.  They may have deliberated 10-15 minutes.  God, what a feeling.  It felt so good.  I don’t think I have ever wanted to win so bad.  And I don’t think I have ever put so much time, effort, and passion into anything.

My client was charged with first degree arson and conspiracy, both felonies, with a sentence of 3 to 25 years.  He had always maintained that he was innocent, and damn it felt so good to deliver him back to his family a free man.  He is a good guy, and his family had suffered through such a nightmare with the prosecution and accusations.  There’s nothing like standing before 12 jurors with somebody’s life and destiny in your hands.  It’s the worst time and it’s the best time.  Fighting [in the courtroom] for money is one thing.  But fighting for someone’s liberty – someone’s child, someone’s father – with their life in your hands….. there’s nothing like it.  God, it feels good.

– John H. Bryan

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December 17, 2009 - Posted by | Arson, Conspiracy, John H. Bryan, Trials

6 Comments »

  1. I was at the trial and I thought you done a great job.I know you gave Dustin’s life back to him and to his parents.I would be proud to have you to represent me anyday.Your whole family was a big help to Dustin.and the rest of his family.I want to thank you for a job well done.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.Thanks for everything.

    Comment by Debbie Frazier | December 19, 2009 | Reply

  2. You, my friend, are a hero. Bravo!

    Comment by calhoununderground | December 19, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thank you very much.

    Comment by johnbryanlaw | December 19, 2009 | Reply

  4. Does that mean you are going to be finally free to come to the phone, and maybe discuss other Law Action.

    Comment by calpattypress | December 20, 2009 | Reply

  5. Congrats! I’ll have to remember to use that closing argument, if you don’t mind others using it. Thats as good as the line about if the jury still would want to see a video of exactly what happened a year from now, then they have reasonable doubt.

    Comment by Anthony | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  6. Thanks, but, it’s not mine to claim. I stole the idea from Gerry Spence’s book, “The Smoking Gun.” If you don’t have it, I recommend it.

    Comment by johnbryanlaw | December 21, 2009 | Reply


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