Monday, May 22, 2006

Props to Ken at Crim Law Blog : How can you defend those people?

A while ago I came back across this good post by Ken Lammers at Crim Law. I am sure that I've heard the term before, but Mr. Lammers motivated or inspired this blog's title. He's got a great post and a great response to the question, how can you defend those people?

But I want to disagree with him in part. There is nothing wrong with trying to defend the guilty. That's what Jesus did. Many people respect him for that. Our job, in many ways, is as an attorney to atone. I once heard that attorney comes from atone, we atone for our client's sins. We allow them to understand the perspective of others, to try and make amends many times, take responsiblity. That is what victims of crime often want. And we try and protect our clients to prevent crime from doubly victimizing by punishment for the innocent, or punishment beyond what is required.

In terms of zeal, what if a person had nobody to advocate for her? Then those who looked guilty but actually weren't would be screwed! But nobody actually knows if a person is guilty, what with all these false confessions and planted evidence. I have to help anyone who needs help. What if I was in that position, looking guilty but being innocent? And if there isn't a good attorney who fights for people, how can the convicted ever accept their punishment? Without good defense attorneys, criminals would just say (and it be true) that they didn't get a fair shot at proving their innocence.

In the end, I agree with Ken on the most important part. Defense attorneys seek to curb the thirst for vengence in society. Such violence is not healthy, and I am proud to try and be the caretaker of positivity in my community as well as speak for underrepresented minorities, the poor, the mentally ill, and those visiting my country from elsewhere. Even if they may be guilty when I am finished working with them, they deserve assistance to understand what is happening and get help to prove it if they may be innocent and to avoid improper punishment.


Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

That was a really cool post...I can see myself doing defense..though I have to admit, it still freaks me out.

What if I got someone that I knew was guilty, and dangerous to society off the hook? Let's say it was a child molester...I mean, I know that the defense attorney is a crucial element of our system...but it would kill me to know that I had helped someone evade justice like that.

12:54 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I've also heard about people like us (Public Defenders) called Simon of Sirene because we ease the burdens of our clients for just a little while like Simon did for Jesus when he bore the cross for Jesus. ::shrugs::

6:50 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

That's a good analogy.

8:23 PM  

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