Presumed Guilty
The Defenders
The Cases
First Degree Murder
Under The Influence
Concealed Weapon
Murder For Hire
Research The System
About The Program
Know Your Rights

Note: these descriptions are culled from the defendants' own words and information given to their public defenders.
Lam Choi Marcos Ranjel Erna Larusdottir
Brian Robinson
Adachi/Choi Timeline

Maas/Ranjel Timeline
The Cases

The four cases featured in Presumed Guilty were selected because they illustrate the wide spectrum of experience that is brought to bear by the attorneys of the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender, not because of the specifics of the cases or the defendants. Over the course of a year, the producers captured the complex defense strategies of Senior Attorneys Jeff Adachi and Will Maas as they struggled with deep moral dilemmas brought on by two high-profile murder cases. They also recorded rookies Michele Forrar and Phoenix Streets fighting for their clients as they learned the ropes of an adversarial criminal justice system.
  Lam Choi  [ Explore an Interactive Timeline ]
Public Defender: Jeff Adachi
Charge: First Degree Murder
Crime: Killing a gang boss
Possible Sentence: 35 years to life
  Jeff Adachi and Lam Choi
  Marcos Ranjel  [ Explore an Interactive Timeline ]
Public Defender: Will Maas
Charge: First-degree murder with special circumstances (murder-for-hire)
Crime: Police say Ranjel walked into a hair salon and shot the owner dead.
Possible Sentence: Life without the possibility of parole
  Will Maas and Marcos Ranjel
  Erna Larusdottir  [ Learn about the Case ]
Public Defender: Phoenix Streets
Charge: Concealed Weapon
Crime: Carrying a revolver in her bag
Possible Sentence: One year
  Erna Larusdottir and Phoenix Streets
  Brian Robinson  [ Learn about the Case ]
Public Defender: Michele Forrar
Charge: Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
(crack cocaine)
Crime: Appearing to be under the influence of drugs
Possible Sentence: Four months
  Michele Forrar and Brian Robinson


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