In previous blog posts, I have addressed the question often posed to criminal defense attorneys: "How can you defend them?"
Here is another sad tale that answers the question. This is the CNN reported story of Michael Morton - an innocent man who lost his case, his freedom, a large portion of his life, his relationship with his son (and, oh yes, the wife he was wrongfully convicted of murdering):
You can imagine the prosecutor raging away in front of those Texas jurors with tears running down his cheeks. That prosecutor later became a Texas judge. That prosecutor stole not only a large portion of Michael Morton's life, but justice itself. That prosecutor ended up in jail himself - for failing to turn over evidence to the defense which would have supported Michael Morton's innocence.
I encourage you to watch the CNN film about this case, airing this Thursday, and, in the future when you initially hear about a case, don't be so fast to presume the accused must be guilty and the defense is shady. Cases like Michael Morton's are why we do what we do. Cases like his are why it's so important to have advocates on the defense side who fight not only for their clients, but for the criminal justice system itself. An innocent man behind bars for 25 years...
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.