The Defense Lawyer: Understanding What A Defense Counsel’s True Role Is
C. Understanding What The Defense Lawyer’s Real Role Is
I belong to numerous attorney list serves, and am dismayed by all of the attorneys who celebrate whenever a guilty individual is acquitted. Although it would be appropriate to celebrate acquittal based on insufficient evidence for establishing proof beyond a reasonable doubt or due to a motion for suppressing evidence that was granted due to a person’s rights being violated by the government, it would not be proper for celebrating a “not guilty” verdict on a person who is truly guilty for just this sake alone. All of us win, including both the guilty and innocent, whenever our justice system works as it is intended. All of us lose, including both the guilty and innocent, whenever a wrong decision is made by a judge. That is particularly true whenever it is based on cowardice for withstanding any potential adverse publicity that may follow when a guilty individual is set free. Furthermore, all of us lose, both the guilty and innocent, when a prosecution, for furthering a career and for political purposes, cheats to win to get good publicity in order to support their campaign. This said, it still would be proper celebrating a guilty individual’s wrongful acquittal when they already have been punished sufficiently and any additional punishment would be unjust overkill, or would not serve any purpose of society or the rehabilitation concept.
D. Courage To Keep Standing Tall And Not Back Down
We also all lose, whenever a defense attorney does not provide their client with 100% effort when it comes to protecting all of the rights of this citizen at each stage in the process. In ABA Standard 4-1.2 (b) speaks to the need of defense lawyers to have courage, and truthfully, any defense attorney that represents a client without having 100% courage for doing the right thing, cheats both the system as well as the client. That is particularly true when the individual is factually guilty.
It is not effective counsel if there is anything less than a total 100% commitment. However, the 100% must be aimed toward protecting rights but not the result necessarily. That 100% also would include protection against punishment that has netted out already and would not serve any purpose other than for a prosecutor for obtaining a conviction. It also would include protecting against punishments that are overly harsh.
E. Patriotism As A Form Of Constitutional Defense
To conclude, if the defense attorney understands her or his true role, then the attorney is a true patriot who is defending her or her country. The political philosopher Edmund Burke, who inspired a number of our founding fathers stated that all that tyranny needs for gaining a foothold is for individuals of good conscience to stay silent. In terms of this thought, due to what is riding on the defense counsel’s shoulders, the good attorney never should remain silent whenever she or he is on duty.
It is also a good idea to remember the wise words of warning from President James Madison, who is often referred to as the Bill of Rights’ Father when he said that if our nation is taken over ever, it will happen from within. To that end, the defense attorney will become part of this “from within” any time that she or remains silent whenever the government is violating or has violated a client’s rights. If you are part of this “from within” you cannot be a true patriot lawyer! You also cannot be one if you only give 99% effort. To truly be as effective as was envisioned by the founders, the patriot attorney must give her or his all at all times.
As a defense attorney, a self-test is available for you to decide whether you happen to be a Patriot Constitutional Defender or not. Take note that the Declaration of Independence had 56 signers. If these patriots were to return today searching for a 57th patriot to join with them, knowing the way that you defend clients, would they want you to join with them? If “yes” is the answer, then “thank you” because you are a true patriot! However, if your answer is “no”, then maybe you need to reconsider why you are a defense attorney, or maybe you should look for a different area of law for you to practice in.
Give Jim a call today and let him give you a free consultation so that you can get the help that you need. You can contact Jim for your free consultation! Click here to go to the First article in this series.