Indiana PD on Trial

This post from a fellow blogger and Public Defender in Indiana:

"The greatest trial lawyers in the world are not the ones watched, covered, and adorned by the media. The greatest trial lawyers in the world are the public defenders, who do their work in empty courtrooms, without the press, without an audience and, sad to say, most of the time without the family of the person on trial.Each day, the public defenders in that grim and dismal setting open their mouths for the dumb; for the rights of all who are racked desolate by time, by circumstances, by class, by race, by hatred.


Tom McKenna said...

With all due respect, that is utter crap. The defense attorney's job is not to represent the oppressed, huddling masses yearning for justice. His job is to represent his client zealously. Whose role in the system is it to see that justice be done? You got it, the prosecutor. So while you might be professionally required to obfuscate, obscure, blow smoke, and otherwise hide unpleasant facts showing your guy is guilty as hell (i.e., to help even your guilty clients evade conviction) the prosecutor is the one who is devoted to the truth and seeing that justice be done... even if it means dismissing the charge when the evidence is not there. Hell, if even the whacko ABA can figure that out, y'all oughta be able to.

Indefensible said...

Gee Tom,
I'm pretty sure we're all clear on what public defenders do, but you're a bit deluded if you think that most pd's aren't fighting for the oppressed, or that the masses of our clients aren't yearning for justice. They are.

(Just FYI -- don't confuse defense attorneys and PD's--we do the work for very different reasons.)

And while I'm always glad you read and comment, you are similarly deluded if you think prosecutors are out there doing the right thing in the majority of cases. I don't know you personally, so I won't opine about your practice, but I will say that far too many prosecutors are devoted to winning rather than to justice, and to supposed victims, rather than to truth.

In my experience (and I've had quite a bit) pretty much every ADA wraps themselves in the feel-good flag of 'doing justice' and 'doing what's right' but precious few of them deserve to wear it.

I appreciate the respect.