Friday, December 14, 2007

Grant County Public Defender Defends Public Defense

Responding to a story about the government asking for more prosecuting attorneys, a public defender writes eloquently about his job. (He was a deputy prosecutor for 11 years before moving to defense.) Michael E. Haas, Guest Editorial: Defender responds to comments on juvenile crime, Dec. 6, 2007:

Our job is not to roll over and play dead for the prosecuting authority. The continued vitality of our democracy demands that we vigorously test every charge, challenge every accusation even when the accused is unpopular and has been vilified in the press. Let's not forget that John Adams, one of the principal architects of the Declaration of Independence successfully defended a British officer accused of responsibility for the Boston Massacre in 1770.

Some may say that most of our clients are guilty of something. Wouldn't you hate to be the one factually innocent person in the stack that had a public defender roll over on you?
Thanks: Arbitrary & Capricious.

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