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by Peter Moskos

October 25, 2009

Speaking for the Defense?

I don't talk much about the death penalty. It's not my passion.

On one hand I think it's wrong to kill. On the other I have very little sympathy for those put to death (except for the innocent ones, 'course).

But get a load of this (found here):

Regardless of what you think about the death penalty, regardless of whether his client was innocent or guilty, should any man be convicted, much less put to death, when this guy serving as his defense attorney?

I didn't go to law school, but isn't your defense attorney supposed to defend you?


Rivkah said...

While I don't have much of a problem with vigilante justice -- I do take issue with state-sanctioned murder, especially when this same state won't "let" me take my own life.

But yeah, a defense attorney who is arguing that his clients are in fact guilty, is troubling. David "the cow ate my homework" Martin's clients, two Hispanic men, do illustrate the problems with the death penalty, namely, the over application towards racial/ethnic minorities.

Racial issues aside, there are just so many things wrong with this case, I couldn't say what (or whom) is the most problematic.

PCM said...

And let me add I'm not convinced the guy wasn't guilty as charged. I read the New Yorker piece and assumed he did do it. I don't know. But guilty or not, he should have a lawyer who actually defends him. Especially when for a capital case.

IrishPirate said...

What struck me about the attorney, well among many things, is that he stated that he had spent over 20 years in "corporate law".

Perhaps, folks facing the death penalty should get "criminal attorneys" representing them.

Using attorneys with little experience in a death penalty case is "problematic". I'm being more than a "bit" sarcastic.