"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Witness for the Defense?

It was interesting to have the role of a witness in a case recently-- a habeas corpus hearing in which my testimony established that the petitioner's attorney had been offered a plea agreement which would have netted his client 5 years' imprisonment. I was turned down cold and thereafter I asked for a jury trial, the result of which was that instead of five years, the defendant received 15 years and 90 days (subsequently reduced by the judge to 10 years).

Now of course, having exhausted his appeals, the convicted drug dealer responds by attacking his trial attorney, accusing him of not conveying my plea offer to him. Of note was that he was represented at trial by someone who is probably regarded as being in the top 5 of prominent defense attorneys in the state (I'm not agreeing with that ranking, I 'm just reporting it).

What made the case even more dramatic was that the drug dealer's lawyer for the habeas is also one of the top 4 or 5 (again, not that I endorse that ranking) and the trial attorney had sued the habeas attorney in the past... so there is no love lost between the two.

The losers in all this are the drug dealer's parents, who seem to be nice folks but have paid astronomical sums of money to both lawyers.

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