In the past week, two high profile people were sent resounding messages by the court of public opinion and in one case, a jury of his peers. That message said that you should just tell the truth right from the start, instead of trying to carry people in the hope that they won’t be smart enough to put two and two together.
Ray Rice. Poor Ray Rice, and poor Janay Rice, and poor Rayven Rice. “I made a huge mistake, and I want to own it.” are the words that Ray Rice said in a press release this morning after being released by the Ravens football team. And yet, those who saw the original video where he dragged the lifeless body of his fiance out of the elevator and let her fall into a slump face down on the floor wonder when it was that he actually decided that it was a huge mistake. Did he know it was a mistake when he was kicking her legs out of the way of the elevator doors, or was it when he realized that his punch knocked her face into a rail and rendered her unconscious? No, those weren’t the times when he knew he had made a huge mistake, because he chose his career and multi-million dollar contract over telling the truth. It appears that the “huge mistake” he references is the one where he got caught, and (now) has no choice but to own it.
Similarly, Bob McDonnel, who was convicted on 11 felony charges in his corruption trial, thought that his definition of “corruption” was different than the one that jury had. According to THIS story, he painted himself to the media as a straight-laced guy who was a former military man and devoted family guy. As a result, no one would have expected the reality to be any different than the story: until undisputable facts surfaced that told a different story.
Sometimes, it really just comes down to being a case of did you do it, or not, without all the legal mumbo-jumbo that lawyers will try to bring onto the scene in order to distract everyone from that core question. The jury didn’t buy the argument that he didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong. And the public haven’t bought the story that Ray Rice didn’t know his vicious role in what happened in that elevator, or the possible price he might pay if it was discovered as it has now been.
As the saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.