This Chicago Criminal attorney wants to remind you that the Government has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty, if they decide to charge you with a crime.
In fact the judge, whenever there is a jury trial, actually reminds the jury from start-to-finish of a trial, that they are not to interpret guilt or non-guilt based on the defendant’s decision not to testify because the defendant is not required to do so.
Legal analysts here (some of whom chuckled at those who had ever believed Mr. Blagojevich’s promises to take the stand in the first place) said they now anticipated silence from Mr. Blagojevich and a swift end to a case that was once expected to last all summer.
Like all criminal defendants, Mr. Blagojevich is not required to testify. Unlike most defendants, he had seemed to leave no room for doubt. In opening statements, the defense team told jurors Mr. Blagojevich would take the stand and “tell you exactly what was going on.” And just last week, outside court, Mr. Blagojevich pledged once more: “I will prove my innocence, and I will testify.”
While you may be on the defense if you are accused of a crime, that doesn’t mean you have to do anything besides let the government put on its witnesses. It is the government’s burden of proof, not the accused.