» Entries tagged with "defendant"

Why It Sometimes Sucks (And Then Doesn’t…Sorta)

It’s often hard to explain the little reasons it can sometimes suck being a defense attorney, so I figured I’d strike while the iron is hot and write about something that happened recently. It should highlight one tiny little reason why the job can suck. It should also highlight why the job doesn’t just suck all the time, but is more of a roller coaster of suck and not-suck. A couple of weeks ago, I had a settlement conference in a case. The goal was to see if the parties could reach an agreement. The prosecutor and judge were both great to deal with, and my client was very reasonable. He was facing a harsh mandatory minimum prison sentence and understood by the end that he … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General

The Stacked Deck

The system isn’t fair. It’s something those of us who pay attention all know, but sometimes it’s more apparent than others. I’m working on a case where the state appealed a lower court judge’s ruling granting a motion to suppress. It’s an uncommon situation due in large part to the fact judges don’t grant motions to suppress all that often. They stretch to find whatever facts best support a denial, knowing that the reviewing court must defer to them. They scour the books for cases that support the state’s position, no matter how old. I’ve seen more rulings for the state finding facts that weren’t really presented or citing ancient cases despite the existence of recent controlling case law than I ever would’ve believed as a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

The Conveyor Belt

There’s a dead person. That’s what starts the conveyor belt. People don’t just die anymore. Unless you’re a hundred years old with cancer and dementia and doctors gather around remaking about how incredible it is you’ve held on so long, death is murder. People are murdered by their greedy next of kin. They’re murdered by corrupt businesses. They’re murdered by drugs that are fun or helpful, occasionally the drugs that stop the murderers themselves from suffering. People are always murdered by an enemy of some kind. The enemy can be disease or lightning, but if it isn’t, the enemy is a person. When it is, we often still look for a person to blame. The person we find is guilty. The person must die too. The person needs … Read entire article »

Filed under: Death Penalty, Government Rants, Practice in General

Fines

I have no problem with the idea of a court ordering someone pay restitution to a victim. Making an aggrieved party whole seems like exactly the kind of stuff a decent justice system should try to do. Probation also makes sense to me as a sentencing option. If we care about rehabilitation, services and some sort of supervision seem essential. I even understand the need for incarceration as part of the sentence in some cases. Although jail and prison terms are routinely and unfairly ordered to excess, I can see the logic in removing a dangerous person from society. I understand retribution and the idea that there may be a deterrent effect in taking away someone’s liberty. Also, when it comes to time, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, DUI, Government Rants

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