The Pastoral is Political: Who is My Neighbor?

RevGalBlogPals | 7/22/2019 | Staff
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Today’s topic: defense lawyers and why Gideon v. Wainwright was a crucial decision. Or, why Jeffrey Epstein and R. Kelly should have good defense lawyers—and so should everyone else.

Caveats:

Attorney - Layperson - Bit - Law - Geek

I am not an attorney, simply a layperson who’s a bit of a law geek, and willing to be taught if I have missed a point of law.

This is not legal advice. If you or someone you know has a legal issue, consult a local attorney.

Laws - Practices - State - State - Nation

Laws and practices vary from state to state and nation to nation. I am speaking of the US broadly.

Next to the defendants in a court case, the individuals who usually receive the most vilification by the public are their defense attorneys. The duty—the calling—of a criminal defense lawyer is to ensure that their client receives a fair trial—that all the evidence is brought forward, that witnesses are testifying truthfully and they are not under duress, that the evidence is pertinent, and more. Period. It is not their job to decide whether their client is guilty or innocent (that is up to the jury; or the judge, in a bench trial), what sentence they may receive, how hard to work to defend them, or if they should be defended at all. Every client is deserving of a fair trial, and of the very best their attorney can give them.

Person - Attorney - Attorney - Attorneys - Lots

This is not too difficult if the person accused can afford to pay an attorney, especially if they can afford a well-known, expert attorney. Such attorneys generally have lots of resources, including support staff, investigators, and more; and they can choose which cases to take.

However, if the person accused cannot afford to pay an attorney, then they turn (in the U.S.) to public defenders. The U.S. Supreme Court, in their decision Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) ruled that if a person...
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