Wednesday, August 25, 2004

How Can You Do That?

Anybody who practices criminal defense law will get asked this question: "how can you represent criminals?" As a PD, I get the question all the time. Another blogging criminal lawyer, over at CrimLaw, posted a lengthy answer to that question. Ironically, he ends up in the same place I do, although I get there without relying on Christian morality to do so. As he put it, "[t]he Defender is the person who stands between society and the descent into vengeance." I would just add that while most people I represent are guilty, many aren't charged with what they actually did or are sentenced to terms much more harsh than they deserve. Trying to limit that damage for the guilty, and maybe preserving some hope for rehabilitation in the future, is as important a function of my job as anything else.

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