An old college friend send me a message the other day. She had an important question for me . How could I represent criminals if I knew they were guilty ? It didn’t take me long to come up with an answer . All of God’s children need help. Sometimes they go astray , are lead astray , or are just wired wrong. Sometimes I represent those that are guilty but are overcharged in their cases by the government to force the accused to accept a plea bargain agreement. Sometimes they need help for defending them during the sentencing phase of the case . The most important part is the oath that criminal defense lawyers take to defend their clients zealously and to defend the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
So how do insurance defense lawyers defend insurance companies knowing they should pay the claim. Medical malpractice lawyers defending a doctor they know violated the standard of care. Criminal defense lawyers owe a duty to the client and the constitution .
Then , the next question came. How can you defend them if you know they may commit another crime. No one I know has a crystal ball to determine if someone will commit another crime. I wish I did own one at my law office. The duty of a criminal defense attorney is not to get lost in the future , but to give the best defense possible regardless. A criminal defense attorney owes no duty except to his client and the court.
I close this post with a quote my father often said to me " Mine is not to reason why. Mine is just to do or die". I hope I got it right Dad.