This is a simplified version of a question I asked before. I don't think you ever got around to it but it's okay ^^" How do you feel about defending clients that you know are clearly in the wrong? Let's say in this case the client is pedophile. The evidence against him is sketchy but you still have the legal obligation of defending this man?
Oh, honey, of course I do. Absolutely. Just read the Constitution: it’s right there. Everyone is entitled to a defense. ”In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” (Granted, that’s federal, but all the states have adopted that through the 14th, so it’s a moot point.)
It does not matter if twenty people saw the defendant kill the victim and then watched and videotaped him as he stood there, covered in the victim’s blood, holding the knife, screaming, I KILLED THIS SON OF A BITCH.
It does not matter. I and any other criminal defense attorney worth his or her salt will stand to defend that person. At arraignment, we will accept hte charges and enter a plea of Not Guilty, and thus force the State to begin trying to prove its case.
It does not matter if the person did it or didn’t do it.
Here’s something you might not have known: A good criminal defense attorney NEVER asks the defendant if he “did it.”
A good criminal defense attorney does not give two shits about that.
I don’t give two shits about that. Do I care morally, as a human being? Sure. Do I care when that person is my client and I am responsible for being his or her advocate? Not one bit. Because that is MY client. I am HIS advocate, 100%. If I’m stuck with my ‘moral principles,’ then I’m not being a good advocate for that particular defendant. I can hate murder and rape and violence all I want (I do). But when I am responsible for defending someone and being an advocate, that means having to be 100% on their side. Doesn’t matter if they “did it” or not. All that matters is if the State can prove it.
I don’t give a fuck if my client possessed child porn and used it to masturbate several times a day. I had clients like that.
I don’t give a fuck if my client, who is a grown man, fucked an underage girl. I had clients like that.
I don’t give a fuck if my client beat some other guy up. I had clients like that.
I dont’ give a fuck if my client possessed controlled substances and used them recreationally - regularly. I had clients like that.
I don’t give a fuck if my client tried to kill someone and either succeeded or almost succeeded. I had clients like that.
I don’t care.
All I care about is, can the State prove it?
Because, think about it. On that level - the level of proof - there is NO DIFFERENCE between the person that “did it” and the person that didn’t.
If the State is going to stand up and charge a citizen of Illinois (or the Government a citizen of this country), then they damn well better be able to prove it.
Does an innocent person deserve to be punished for something the State cannot prove he did? No. We all know that.
Here’s the one many people can’t get their heads around: Does a “guilty” person (whatever that means) deserve to be punished for something the State CANNOT PROVE he did?
If the State, with all of its machinery and resources, wants to charge someone with a crime, they damn well better be able to prove it.
Of course, its’ not a perfect system. People who didn’t do what they’re charged with go away for a long time. We all know that. The State deliberately overcharges so that when Defense attorneys work out a deal for 2 years instead of, say 10, they feel like they’ve won and really helped that person. And yes, they have helped that person by reducing the jail time, but it’s still a grand failure.
I will say this until I’m blue in the face:
I do not care if someone did what they’re accused of doing or not. I only care that the State can prove it.
Thanks for asking, dear. :) I apologize for not responding to your earlier question. I have it in my box and I had anticipated writing this grand old essay reply that was all nuanced and shit, but when I saw this, I’m like, no, I’m answering this today because that person already sent it, and I’ll make it short and sweet (for me). I know this reply isn’t short or sweet, but it strikes at the crux of what I want to say:
A good criminal defense attorney will defend ANYONE. Regardless of what they’re being charged with. REgardless of what hte attorney thinks as to innocence or guilt. Regardless of the attorney’s personal beliefs (unless there is a legitimate conflict, like the attorney knows the victim and cannot reasonably circumvent that conflict).
A good criminal defense attorney will not judge the person based on what the charges are or EVEN what the evidence eventually ends up showing. Because that diminishes the capacity for whole hearted advocacy, which is what I think a defendant deserves.
I don’t care if the State comes back with evidence that shows that my guy did it, no two ways about it. Good for you. So what? Now that I have reason to believe that I’m in a weak position on the facts, let’s deal this so he can either get probation and live on a short leash for a few years, or let’s try to get the least amount of jail time we can.
I don’t give a shit if my guy “did it,” didn’t do it, or can be shown by the State to have done it. All that matters is the client and turning over every damn stone to get him the best result possible.
(I used him in this reply but obviously it’s him or her or them.)
“I was at the pharmacy and I was sick and trying to get medicine, and the pharmacist just looked at me and goes, ‘You don’t look like you feel very fetch today.’”—Catching up with Lacey Chabert, a.k.a. Gretchen Weiners. (via entertainmentweekly)
The fact that there’s even a debate on whether upskirting is wrong on Boston.com right now fills me with rage.
Although it is good that the legislature is working to make a new law to actually make it illegal since the court had to declare that the wording of the current law doesn’t actually do that since it specifies that the victim has to be nude. And for the record I have nothing against the judge since he included in his statement a line to to the effect of “now hurry up and fix it so this doesn’t happen again.” He clearly didn’t agree with it but as the law stands it’s not illegal and part of his job is to send stuff back to the lawmakers when there are loopholes like that so they can fix it.
The law has been passed and signed. It’s a done deal.
SEE? Be angry about the assholes that think there isn’t anything wrong with upskirting. Don’t be angry at the judge or the defense attorney. They did what they are legally required to do (and I swear, anyone who shits on defense attorneys for…defending people accused of crimes in front of me is going to get a Talking To).
Be angry at the people who made this law a necessity in the first place.
Massachusetts highest court ruled Wednesday that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person’s clothing, a practice known as “upskirting.”
For fuck’s sake.
So someone do it to the ruling judge.
Stop it. All of you stop it (that includes CNN). That isn’t what the judge said. What the judge said was “as the law they tried to prosecute the guy is written, it doesn’t apply here.” The law was for a different circumstance, and there wasn’t one for this circumstance, and the Supreme Judicial Court is pretty much tied to the law. You still have to work within WHAT THE LAW ACTUALLY SAYS.
So. The law was bad, the SJC said “This totally sucks, but we’re stuck.” They did not say “hey, go ahead do whatever, because we don’t give a fuck” and they did not say “Hey, we don’t see why anyone is upset.”
The legislature immediately did what they are supposed to do, and wrote a law making upskirt photos illegal, the governor signed it about an hour ago, so it’s not like it’s a free-for-all here.
Look, I know reading comprehension is hard and taking the time to actually get the full story on a situation is a pain in the ass, but maaaaaaybe look beyond the soundbite headlines and actually read why judges rule the way they do? Sometimes it’s not because they are assholes.
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Guys, I don’t have easy access to Twitter at work (I can use my phone, but it’s a hassle), but I have been reading the notifications Twitter has been sending to the podcast Gmail, and I just wanted to say that everything happening right now with the “BEVERLY IS NOT FOR EATING” conversation chain is glorious.
Discussion of Hannibal 2x01 “Kaiseki,” Hannibal and Jack’s BRUTAL fight scene, the fallout of the events from last season’s brain-liquifying season finale, the introduction of Cynthia Nixon’s character Kade Prurnell, Will imprisoned, Bedelia in fuck shit i messed up levels of danger, and Hannibal framing Will by AHHHH WHY IS THE SOUNDTRACK ATTACKING OUR EARS. Also, new original theme music (work in progress)!
One of our favorite other podcasts! We love these boys.