By Collin County Criminal Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
If you practice criminal defense you are invariably asked questions by people who simply don’t understand what it is you do. The questions don’t bother me. We are all naturally programmed to think in terms of good and evil. We all view ourselves on the side of good and can’t understand how anyone can cross the imaginary boundary we’ve established in our mind.
1. How Can You Possibly Defend Someone You Know is Guilty?
When I defend a guilty person, I defend everyone. If I can make it difficult for a guilty person to be treated unfairly then I’m making it extremely difficult for an innocent person to be treated unfairly.
Besides, not everyone is guilty.
2. What This Person Did Was Awful. How Can You Defend Him?
I don’t defend crime or criminal acts. I defend human beings and their rights.
I defend people whose imperfection is making bad choices and/or hurting people from people whose imperfection is being judgmental.
Another fun way I respond to either of these questions is, “Well let’s just lop their hand off like they do in other parts of the world.”
That usually drives the point home.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about this or any other situation you should contact an attorney directly.