It may be easy for many in Hazlehurst to jump to conclusions about the guilt or innocence of any suspect report to have been arrested. Personal experience, familiarity and bias may often shape opinions before the facts of a matter are ever released. The danger in this is that it could potentially compromise the possibility of those that are at the center of such stories being able to be judged fairly should their cases wind up in local courts. A rush to judgment can also unfairly stigmatize someone. Once a person is associated with the stigma of criminal activity, it can very difficult to overcome.
One can only hope that such a stigma does not continue to follow a young Hattiesburg as he is forced to with criminal charges. The man (who is entering his sophomore season as a wide receiver on Mississippi State’s football team), was arrested on assault charges. He has since been released on bond. Whether his arrest has affected is standing as a university student or as a member of the football team has not yet been reported.
Perhaps that is for the best, in that releasing further details may serve to form opinions that could contradict the man’s character. Authorities and locals alike also may want to consider treating such a matter with extreme sensitivity given that it a young man involved. Many often make rash decisions when they are younger that they end up regretting; the hope is that those decisions do not also bring with them criminal penalties. If they do, hopefully their cases warrant consideration being given to their futures so that whatever consequences they do face do not limit their opportunities. Those hoping to get such consideration may then wish to work with an experienced attorney in order to secure it.