Showing posts from February, 2015

Letting Go

" I believe your client , but you are still going to need to present something to the Grand Jury on it." " I'll give you a probation on a lesser charge, but your guy is going to need to plead on all three cases.  I've been told that my court has too many dismissals." " I don't know why the Grand Jury indicted your client, but I can't dismiss it unless the co-defendant pleads to something." " I would never dismiss that case.  It's a First Degree!" What do the above four phrases have in common? They have all been said to me by a prosecutor as justification for not dismissing a case in the past year. Now, before I go too much further down the road of angering every prosecutor who reads this blog, let me be clear:  Prosecutors and Defense Attorney disagree every freaking day over whether or not a case should be dismissed.  As Defense Attorneys, we are obligated to seek out the best resolution for our clients and we wou

Forced Empathy

As I've noted here and there on blog posts since becoming a Defense Attorney six years ago, one of the things that I think I've gained on this side of the bench is a better grasp of empathy towards those accused of crimes.  When I was a prosecutor, I never got Mark Bennett 's frequent assertion on his blog that every prosecutor should have to spend some time in jail to gain a full appreciation for what criminal defendants go through.  I still think Mark's position is a little extreme, but I understand his point. Too often those who enforce the law and the punishment associated with breaking the law don't quite get the human effect that comes along with punishment. And then something like this happens that kind of makes those who enforce the law have to feel the consequences of breaking the law . . . Oops. (H/T & Photo Credit to Mark Thering )