"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

Friday, March 14, 2008

Are Former Prosecutors Better Defenders?

I don't have a lot of interest in the whole Spitzer thing: what, a sanctimonious northeastern liberal democrat zealot who has no personal sense of honor or morality? I'm shocked, shocked.

But some folks think he made a smart move to hire former prosecutors to defend him in the criminal probe.

I wonder if that's really such a clever move. I know many former prosecutors (by which I mean someone who did prosecution for more than just a year or two), now in defense work, and in many ways it's easier for me to say, "now you know I can't offer you x or y, and you wouldn't have when you were in my position." I certainly don't feel any need for the sake of old times or whatever to offer more than I would to some other attorney.

Moreover, being a good prosecutor doesn't always seem to translate into being a good defense attorney, or at least into becoming a great defense attorney. Sometimes, ironically, the former prosecutors are pretty obnoxious and are the least likely to get good outcomes for their clients.

Most of the persuasive, pre-trial negotiators I know have never prosecuted. And if I ever needed a crim defense attorney, former prosecutors would not even be in the top 5 of my list.

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