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Why people hate defense attorney's

  1. kool bubba ice
    Just heard on the news about two guys who raped/sexually assaulted a family of 4. Mother & her two daughters.. The father was locked in the basement.. The perps then tied the Mother & daughters to the bed & deuced them with gasoline & set the house on fire..
    Their defense is actually blaming the police.. Their reasoning.. If the police got there fast enough they could have prevented all this?? That's their defense!! Un real.
  2. Uncle Erik Contributor
    Before another round of lawyer-bashing kicks off, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    First, and most importantly, the defense attorneys DO NOT make the final decision in the case. The prosecutor gets a say, the judge filters everything, and then a jury makes a final decision.

    The defense counsel can say anything. The prosecution gets to argue against it. The judge decides if what the defense says can be told to a jury. Then the jury decides what to believe.

    So even if the defense says something ridiculous, it's not that that gets someone off the hook. The defense does not make that decision.

    Second, the job of the defense is to zealously represent the client. Well, you have to for every client, not just criminals. If you found yourself in trouble, would you want someone to come in and say, "you know, you're an awful person and what you did was heinous, so I'm not really going to do anything for you and try to help out the prosecutor as much as I can"?

    I don't care what someone did or how awful they are. Every person deserves a defense. Let me tell you, it is not easy. When everyone in town hates your client, it is tough to do what you are obligated to do. You have to look past the angry mob and do what is right for your client. If you ever find yourself in trouble, you will understand.

    I do not have a problem with someone getting convicted. Every person, no matter what they did, deserves a full and fair trial. If the result of that trial is a conviction, well, they probably deserved it. That's fine. What isn't fine is taking the angry mob mentality and not giving someone a fair shake. Keep in mind that giving someone a fair shake often results in prison time.

    And, yes, I spent three years doing defense. Believe me, saying something in defense of a client does not automatically get them off.
  3. revolink24

    This. Would you rather have an innocent man killed or a criminal let go?
  4. gopack87
    Heard about this story yesterday, absolutely disgusting.  I know how everyone deserves a fair trial, but to be a defense attorney in a case like this, it really makes me despise lawyers.  Didn't this happen like 3 years ago in Connecticut and they are still trying to prosecute them?  I just can comprehend how someone could try to defend these monsters.......
  5. AmanGeorge Contributor


    I understand that the idea of defending some sick people is appalling, but the American justice system is built upon the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and the idea that everybody deserves a fair day in court. Allowing ourselves to choose who does and doesn't deserve a fair trial before any evidence is presented to an impartial judge or jury would present much more of a threat to our society than the occasional defense lawyer making a shaky defense to try and get somebody who has done stomach-turning things off the hook.
  6. Ham Sandwich

    There are some (too many) who would prefer to have an innocent man in jail or death row rather than risk a criminal not get caught or convicted.  Unfortunately some of those who don't mind catching a few innocents are police officers and prosecutors.  We need good defense attorneys.  And we need a system that doesn't put innocent people in jail on technicalities (read up on innocent people making false confessions and then being unable to back out of it during trial and spending 10 years in jail because of it). 
  7. Omega

    No doubt there are monstrous humans in the world.  But who are you to judge before seeing the evidence against them?  Upon what evidence do you base your judgment? TV news reports?  <sarcasm> Those are never biased, exaggerated, or plain wrong. </sarcasm>.  I see your location is in the USA...be thankful you live in a place where the law ensures some degree of fairness in a trial even where media/community/religion/politics/popular opinion might condemn.
    On the other hand, nobody has raised the obvious point.  If you were defending a total monster, and knew he/she were 100% guilty, and the evidence against your client was plentiful and damning, what would you do?  You can't give a half-assed defense, else the defendant has reason to object that they did not receive a fair trial...you must mount SOME defense.  So, one option is to raise a ridiculous claim like those mentioned above.  It's like catching a kid with his hand in the cookie jar...does the kid ever fess up and admit wrongdoing?  Rarely. More likely, you get some stupid defense, and easily see through it, and justice follows.

  8. Uncle Erik Contributor

    How would you feel if you were falsely accused of abusing a child? What if everyone decided you were a monster and to dispense with the trial? People get falsely accused of crimes all the time. You don't hear about it much because they're not shocking and charges get dropped. Consider if you were in a car with a friend, got pulled over, and the police found drugs on your friend that you didn't know about. The police don't believe your story, arrest both of you and, due to the amount of drugs, you're looking at a ten year mandatory minimum. How would you like that handled?

    But that would never happen without a defense. You'd go from accusation to punishment without having to demonstrate that someone is guilty. You wouldn't be able to confront your accuser, you wouldn't be able to provide evidence that you didn't do it, you probably would not understand court procedures well enough to keep from botching the case, and much else.

    It's not a fun job, a lot of people hate you, but it has to be done. One of the worst I dealt with was a kid who was with some friends driving around late one night. They had a gun and shot a horse for the hell of it. The horse died, and in rural communities like this, that sort of thing really pisses people off. I got a lot of abuse for that. They confessed and (IIRC) eventually plead out. But the kid needed counsel. He needed someone to explain the system and make sure he understood what was happening. He deserved that, just the same as everyone. I don't have a problem with people being convicted as long as the process is fair.
  9. grokit
    Our justice system is certainly not perfect; by this standard there is reason to hate prosecutors as well:
    I knew Bruce as a kid, and while he certainly made some poor choices in his teens he was not guilty of this. He was finally vindicated after 26 years, and now... [​IMG]
    edit: interesting TV show about this subject matter just premiered last night called Outlaw on NBC; I caught it and it wasn't too bad, reminded me of the show Leverage in some ways.
  10. 9pintube
    That's just another SICK CRIME that cannot be forgotten for many!  Uncle Erik, I thought my job sucked every once in a while!  I bet you had many sleepless nights????          This next statement might not be popular BUT, I do believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ (Our only begotten Son) has a special place in Hell for men or women that commits such horrendous acts of violence towards all of God's children of this world......I just pray for the Innocent family members/friends who have to live their lives with the memories of these lost loved ones......
  11. El_Doug Contributor
    It is very short-sighted to hate defense attorneys for doing their job, because their job is ensuring that everyone retains their full constitutional rights while on trial!  Their job is one of the most honorable in existence, imho.  They stand up not for criminals they defend, but for the constitution which allows those criminals certain rights that we hold most precious. 
  12. Ham Sandwich


    That makes me angry.  You can laugh at defense attorneys doing the equivalent of the Chewbacca defense.  You can't laugh at prosecutors that pull that sort of legal game shenanigans.  There is a point in the interest of justice that you have to let it go and stop pursuing the game.
    Prosecutors like that are why you need defense attorneys who are ruthless in defending their clients. 
    Here's a story about a guy who spent 10 years in prison due to a false confession he couldn't back out of in court:
    It's a NY Times article.  Hopefully it will link.  If not then search Google News for "Eddie Lowery"
    We have a system that is far too willing to put innocent people in prison.  We need good competent defense attorneys otherwise our system would be even more broken.
  13. Uncle Erik Contributor

    If only you knew all the war stories. In addition to the criminal work, I did a lot of juvenile law, both dependency (bad parents) and delinquency (bad kids). Sometimes you got both because the kids in trouble had children. There were plenty of sex crimes and abuse. Stuff that was sometimes more weird than awful.

    Alright, I'll get out one of my favorite war stories. There was a father and son living together outside of town. We referred to them as the Sex Offender Duo, because both of them were registered sex offenders. One day, there was some kind of fight or commotion out there, so a sheriff went out along with a social worker.

    They show up and the father is on meth or something, just going nuts, raving like a lunatic. The sheriff is trying to calm him down enough to cuff him and take him in for a psych eval.

    The father and son were raising turkeys, so there were several of them wandering around the yard. Mid-rant, the father drops his pants, grabs a turkey and... well, begins having sex with it. He yells out, "I LOVE THEM BIRDS!"

    No joke. The social worker out there was Crazy Rita. My then-girlfriend and now ex-fiancee. I saw the sheriff's report and court papers, too.

    I spent most nights drinking with Crazy Rita and some other social workers in town - I worked with them on a lot of cases and they were also on the front lines.

    You don't see a lot of old defense attorneys since most come right out of school and burn out after a few years. Prosecutors tend to hold up better, though.

    It was exciting at first because you got to go to court and argue. But all the awful stuff started to take a toll. It drove me to look for alternatives and I found a local college that offered night courses in accounting. So I got into the program and eventually earned another degree in accounting.

    That led into a job doing mostly corporate litigation. While the work was clean and turkey rape-free, it also went on at all hours and I got called in on holidays, weekends, and spent at least a bit of my few vacations on the phone. I had people freak out when I wasn't reachable by phone on a vacation. The good news was that I cashed out something like four months of unused vacation and sick time when I got out.

    There is something of a happy ending. I moved to Arizona this Tuesday to help out with the family business down here. I'm planning to pick up an accounting gig to finally knock off a CPA license. I've got a shop down here where I can get around to a number of DIY projects and might start building stuff for others, there's an old car and motorcycle to play with, and I spent yesterday trespassing ([​IMG]) in a ruined house built ca. 1870-1880. Really great place - if the foundation isn't a hideously expensive repair, I think I'll put in an offer. I've always wanted an old house like this.

    Anyhow, didn't mean to get into a personal discussion, but things seem to have worked out OK. The past is in the past and I'm happy down here.
  14. 9pintube
    That's what I'm talking about!!!!  All the best Uncle Erik.....If you do get the old house feel free to PM me with any remodeling questions,  Sounds like you did your time in the court rooms........"All Things Must Pass"....................Peace!!
  15. Uncle Erik Contributor
    Thanks for the offer! We've been through most of the apartments, but those were all built from around 1940-1960 and never fell into abandonment. This place is pushing 130 and, well, at least the plumbing is on the outside. [​IMG] There's some knob-and-tube from the teens inside and it doesn't look like it ever had a furnace or AC.

    The part that blew me away was that it appears to have all the original oak woodwork and trim inside. Painted, sadly, but it looks entirely salvageable. All lath and plaster walls with 12' ceilings. There's a graciously large front room that would handle serious speakers! [​IMG]

    The bad parts are that it had a small attic fire at one time, I think where the stove vented, but is mostly intact and didn't damage the interior. Also, the foundation sagged in a rear corner which cracked the bricks. It's got a wood on rock foundation, and that sorta worries me. I don't know if just the corner will have to be replaced or if it would have to be jacked up and a new foundation poured. I don't know much about foundations, but will find out.

    If the foundation isn't too bad, it looks like it could be restored for about the same amount as an average house around here. And a little sweat equity, of course! [​IMG]

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