I think every criminal defense attorney at some point gets "the question." "How can you defend them?" or "How can you try to set them free?" Be it at a social function or a family gathering, someone finds it necessary to carve into the soul of what we do to try and find a blackened heart. With perhaps a slightly twisted sense of humor or a knack at driving people to derision, I tend to egg on the questioner with my own bait--"defend them? You mean how can I defend you..."
I do so because it is not the police or judges or prosecutors that bear the charge of holding back the tides of our society from bursting through the seams of the writings our forefathers spilled their blood to establish in the name of our County. It is we few, those cast to wear the black hat, those sneered at for associating with the dredges of our society, that bear witness to the ebbing erosion of our Constitution and the rights we derive therefrom. It is we criminal defense attorneys, ennobled to sit at the dinner table with sinners, murderers and thieves, that push back on the attempts to restrict the freedoms and rights that make us the great United States of America.
So excuse me if my hands seem a bit dirty with the work that I must do or if my daily toils do not make you smile. I will not apologize for defending your rights. For if I do not stand with those accused, then the Constitution is not worth the old paper it is written on.
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