— Ernest Hemingway (via doecile)
Here’s yet another installment of Stupid Shit Even Smart People Will Say: “How do criminal defense attorneys sleep at night? How can you defend a criminal? Ugh!”
First of all, fuck you.
Second of all, seriously, fuck you.
Our entire justice system is built upon the idea that all persons are innocent until proven guilty. In criminal court, we require the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. Without that, you get what civilized society has been trying to escape for centuries: extreme power in the hands of kangaroo courts unfairly trying and convicting innocent people.
The truth is, being a public defender is a thankless job yet is one of the more important to society. I put them up there with special needs teachers and social workers as serving one of the most crucial roles in society helping people who can’t often help themselves and doing it for almost no money and no recognition. Fuck administrative assistants day. Give me public defenders day and we could all go downtown and deliver flowers and Starbucks gift cards to the folks who do work that we not only won’t do, but can’t do because we don’t have the education or skill.
I know it’s hard to imagine sitting next to Jerry Sandusky and trying to find a way to help this man avoid going to jail or being punished for his crimes but we all know innocent people have been convicted before. We allow criminals to defend themselves so that when the jury comes to a verdict, we can feel confident they got it right. Without that, it would be quite easy to lock someone up for years or possibly execute them. Trying criminals is difficult on purpose so we can ensure the innocent are protected. And the folks who help defend the system (which is what they’re really defending) deserve more than to be spat on.
I would rather have a criminal go free than an innocent man go to jail. I would choose that 8 days a week. Why? Because the next time I get wrongly accused of something, I want to have the confidence that I can prove my innocence.
I’ve been hearing a lot of people lately talk about labor and the economy and there’s a common theme that seems to be getting stronger that really pisses me off: low-level workers who get paid well are to blame when they get laid-off and/or their companies go under. If these arguments weren’t being made in my office at work, I’d probably blow a gasket but I’ve generally kept my cool in such situations. This is why I write on Tumblr!
If the stupidity of such an argument isn’t obvious to you, you’re probably just like my coworkers who feel unions are overly demanding and unreasonable. However, if you set aside your pre-conceived opinions about the unions, I’m pretty sure I can show you how absurd that idea is.
The CEO of where I work was giving a speech recently about the state of our company and our future and talked a little about employee pay/benefits and it’s importance to our overall strategy. He gave the usual speil about how employees are important and they want us to be happy so we can do a good job and blah, blah, blah. But then he told an cautionary tale about his experience working somewhere else and how the employees of that company were getting paid too much. He said that its employees had the best pay and benefits in the industry but kept asking for more. The owner was such a nice guy he couldn’t say no to the demands. Alas, the company was brought to its knees at least in part due to the high liability it had to its own workers. It was eventually taken over by another brand and its product is no longer what it used to be. So sad. The point? We have to keep payroll in check so we can stay alive! In other words, don’t even think about asking for more money or benefits because it could ruin our business!