Sometime today in Alamance County Superior Court the jury will begin deliberating the fate of former state lawmaker Cary Allred in his appeal of a driving while impaired conviction in November. The decision should be interesting to say the least. From the testimony I’ve read and the evidence I’ve seen, any outcome is possible.
It’s a matter of reasonable doubt. In my experience, that varies by jury. Even the best-selected panels sometimes make up their minds for reasons only they fully understand. What constitutes reasonble doubt to one group, may not to another. And if for some reason the jury came to believe early on that Allred is guilty or innocent they might just stay with that particular belief no matter the evidence.
Reasonable doubt. It’s such an American concept and a difficult one to grasp. It’s a tossup really, which is why Allred gambled on going before a jury. If you have the scratch to hire two attroneys and an expert witness, then why not?
What will be even more interesting to watch is where Allred goes from here. He made a show during his traffic stop of telling police they were ruining his political career. That may or may not be the case. It could be the police started the job and Allred is finishing it right here and now. After watching his conduct — drunk or sober — in his interactions with police it’s hard to see voters sending him back into a position of political responsibility. Up to 2008, voters did so again and again — starting in 1994. Before that, he was a county commissioner and a one-time member of the state Senate.
During the stops, Allred displays not only a lack of respect for the law — but for people in general. Anyone besides a rather well-to-to person and former political leader would’ve been cited for this kind of conduct with law enforcement — or perhaps physically subdued.
No matter the outcome today, what comes next will tell the true tale.