How Can You Represent That Man?

  • Published in Blog

AS A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER, I OFTEN HEAR AN ASTONISHED, “HOW CAN YOU REPRESENT A MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A CHILD?!”

This is how.

In a recent jury trial, I am sitting by my client Joe Smith (all names in this post are fictitious), in a room full of strangers, including potential jurors. Above us all, between the American and Colorado flags, sits Judge Thompson, in a nondescript black robe that nonetheless conveys ultimate authority in the courtroom. Two plainclothes deputies sit behind us, ready to spring into action should Joe attempt to escape or should someone attack him.

It begins.

“My name is Judge Thompson. The matter before you today is a criminal case. The defendant, Joe Smith, is charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child.” They hate us, now, I think, for interrupting their daily routines for this despised crime. She continues, "The defendant has pleaded not guilty."
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