MoonDawg's Den: In Defense of Defenders

MoonDawg's Den

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In Defense of Defenders

While watching Hannity & Colmes on Fox News last evening (no link, couldn't find a transcript), I was aghast to witness both the conservative Hannity and the liberal Colmes lambaste a criminal defense attorney for - well, doing his job. More specifically, he's apparently doing his job too well and has had some success in getting accused pedophiles off the hook.

H&C tore into the attorney for "making the system work for the guilty". HELLO?? Our system is supposed to work especially for the guilty. In this country the burden of proof is on the state, not on the defendant, which is as it should be - if the state cannot make its case to sufficiently convince a jury of a fellow citizen's guilt, that's just too bad. Sometimes scumbags go free, but when this happens it should serve to motivate law enforcement and prosecutors to do a better job in accumulating evidence legally and presenting a more compelling case next time around. If the state starts to cut corners to imprison the guilty (rather, those believed to be guilty), it puts all of us at risk.

Criminal defense lawyers are all that stand between individual Americans and the unbridled police powers of the state, and I thank God that we have such dedicated professionals around to advocate for the accused - who are, at least in our justice system (are you listening, H&C?), entitled to the presumption of innocence.


  • Amen, Garry.

    This is an excellent post. Defense lawyers get the shaft from the media. Ever since O.J. (who's about to release a book, btw), the media has been overly critical of defense lawyers. This post is just a reminder why I don't watch H&C.

    By Anonymous Jeff, At 6:16 PM, November 15, 2006  

  • Agreed--

    I hear a lot of people say that crimes against children should merit special sorts of actions/immunity from the normal rules of our system because they are so heinous, but that's completely missing the point-- that it's much better to let a few guilty men go free than convict an innocent man. In my opinion, at least.

    By Blogger NoSurfGirl, At 10:08 PM, November 15, 2006  

  • Yes I truly believe that even one innocent person being wrongly convicted is an unforgivable travesty of our justice system.

    Speaking of O.J., I have a close friend who just graduated from law school, and she spent some time volunteering for the Innocence Project, a great organization - which was co-founded by a member of O.J.'s "Dream Team", Barry Scheck - that gets convictions overturned using DNA evidence in older cases where the DNA technology wasn't available at the time of the original trial.

    The O.J. case notwithstanding, DNA has proven to be a superb tool in identifying the guilty and exonerating the innocent.

    By Blogger Garry, At 1:23 PM, November 16, 2006  

  • I think we're all in agreement here. Miracles do happen.

    Just a question, Garry (this, btw, is not meant to be a loaded question in any way. I'm sincerely curious): Do you feel the same about terror suspects as you do others who fall in the justice system? Should they be afforded all the same rights as any other defendant? If so, how does that fit in with laws like the Military Commissions Act?

    By Anonymous Jeff, At 6:57 PM, November 16, 2006  

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