Defending Those Who Defend
There are many professions viewed by the public as unethical. Politicians, for example, are often stereotyped as greedy men who take bribes and launder money. High-ranking officials in large corporations can usually be dumped into the pool of fat cats who care solely about making a profit. But no job is more bashed, no occupation more scrutinized than the criminal defense attorney.
It’s easy to beat up on a criminal defense attorney; often, he or she is defending someone who is obviously guilty. The public imagines a sleazy guy trying to make money off of defending some crime-ridden teen who has no regret about what he’s done. The offender shows no remorse, and as a result most people link this bad attitude to his lawyer, who suffers as a consequence. What many people don’t realize is that such people are necessary for our society. Those who defend the wretched criminals are vital, for although many of these criminals are indeed guilty and do deserve prison, there are a select few who are legitimately innocent, and they need decent lawyers.
If we condemn criminal defense attorneys, then the better lawyers in the country will go for the less-scrutinized areas of law instead of criminal defense, leaving an unfair advantage to the prosecution in many criminal cases. Those few alleged criminals who are actually innocent will be done for; they have very little hope if accused of a crime with a worse attorney. The stigma on criminal defense attorneys must be taken off, for it is unconstitutional to put possibly innocent defendants at a disadvantage before proven guilty. They are assumed innocent, yet giving them a worse lawyer basically is a guilty sentence.