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View Diary: Who We Are: The Public Arraignment of the Boston Terror Suspect (276 comments)

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  •  I am a public defender. (63+ / 0-)

    I am a public defender. I wanted to comment a bit about the idea that people would not want to be his lawyer or, alternatively, that an attorney would want to represent Tsarnaev because of the notoriety and publicity.

    This case highlights exactly what it is that court appointed attorneys do every single day. We stand up in court; we stand next to and with some of the most hated human beings in the country. The attorneys I know and respect and look up to do not do this work for money or to become famous. We do this work because we believe that every single damn person, no matter who they are, what they look like, how many people hate them, how much money they have, or how much evidence seems to be against them, every damn person deserves to have at least one person on their side making sure that at the end of the day what happens during their case is as close as we can come to justice.

    So let me just say, I would be proud to be Mr. Tsarnaev’s attorney; I’m proud of the public defender that stood with him today. That’s what it takes to make sure that justice happens, not just vengeance.

    Call me ridiculously sentimental and idealistic, but reading your post of the transcript of the judge explaining Mr. Tsarnaev his rights under our constitution gave me chills. To me, that is our country at its best too.

    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

    by CenPhx on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 06:28:41 PM PDT

    •  This comment is one of the best things I've read (17+ / 0-)

      since -- ever. Even though I think Mr Tsarnaev is lower than pond scum, he deserves to have someone there, as you said, to make sure justice is done. Your comment brought tears to my eyes.

      Please visit:

      by Noisy Democrat on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 06:32:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. (13+ / 0-)

      The public defenders I knew in NH felt the same way, and we are fortunate to have them (you) not only to represent individual defendants, but to play a key role in ensuring a fair system.

    •  I thank you for your service (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo, Armando

      and your commitment to justice for all.

    •  Bravo Cen !!! I am so glad they are people like (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, WakeUpNeo, Armando

      you in this country. It makes me proud.  

      It is people like you that make this country better and stronger and fairer ....thank you !!

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 08:29:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bravo! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, WakeUpNeo, Armando

      A true defender of democracy! Sir or madam, you have my deepest respect. Thank you for service to this country :-)

      "Today is who you are" - my wife

      by I Lurked For Years on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 08:41:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ron Kuby or Glenn Greenwald (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo, Code Monkey, raboof, BradyB

      are the sorts of lawyers who would take this case in an instant if they felt they could give him top counsel. I can see Kuby doing it since this is what he does, but Greenwald hasn't practiced law in years and lives out of country so he'd likely offer legal advice at most and not actual representation.

      I hope he gets excellent legal representation, not only because as you say like anyone he has a right to it, but to show the country and world that we can be civilized when we choose to be, and to make the other side work its ass off and not let this turn into a slam dunk show trial. The public wants blood. We have to give them justice. Vengeance is not justice.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 08:57:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Being vilified by idiots goes with the territory. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, Noisy Democrat, Dianna, tommymet

      I too am a public defender (mostly anyways - we have a semi-private legal aid system).  It is weird the first time you read an online comment in the newspaper calling you - by name - "the lowest form of life on the planet."  But generally, and thankfully, my experience has been that the type of person who becomes a criminal defense lawyer is not the type of person who gives a shit what a bunch of idiots think of them.  (But this is not to say that ignorance of the basic principles of our legal system doesn't drive me bonkers - I just don't take it personally)

      I once heard someone describe most of what we do as "trying to slow down the meat-grinder of the criminal justice system enough for it acknowledge and consider the humanity of the person being put through it."  While I love that quote - and think it's accurate - there is more to it than that.  Our basic legal rights are skeleton on which our entire system of government rests.  It is a never-ending battle to make sure those rights are not eroded.  Criminal defense lawyers are the ones fighting to put them into practice everyday.

      We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

      by RageKage on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:12:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      represented unpopular causes in court as well.

      It is what a lawyer does.  

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:35:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dianna, fladem

        ...all for the appreciation, although I have to admit it feels a bit uncomfortable to be praised personally for the work thousands of court appointed attorneys are doing and also because, most of the time, I realize I am lucky to have to chance to work at job where I am actively protecting the constitution and helping people. My dad, who has worked in a factory every day of his adult life, never got the opportunities I did, so mostly, I feel like I am just lucky to be doing what I am doing.

        I think I felt driven to comment because this last week in Boston, for me, has shown me specific examples of our country and the people in it at their best. I have been pretty discouraged about a lot of things in America for the last few years. But that quote from Fred Rogers about how to talk to children about disasters where he said his mother always told him to look for the helpers, combined with the examples of all the specific examples of people being such helpers and doing really wonderful things this week, has really uplifted my spirits about this country. I mean people like Carlos Arredondo, who lost his son who was killed in Iraq, and who jumped over the barricades and probably saved the life of that injured young man from the iconic picture from the bombing; the Boston police officers who took Tsarnaev in alive; the Boston people clapping for their officers and firefighters and paramedics; the marathoners who ran to the hospitals to donate blood; the firm decision by the White House that Tsarnaev would be tried in the regular criminal justice system and not as an enemy combatant; and, the public defenders who started calling for Tsarnaev to be appointed counsel right away and who stepped in yesterday.

        All these instances and more reminded me this last week that Americans can, at times, do incredibly inspiring things. That’s why I wanted to comment about public defenders – because, to me, they are another point of light in the darkness that was last week.

        The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

        by CenPhx on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:21:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a prosecutor, and I think what you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dianna, Villanova Rhodes

      do is pretty rad, too.  Have to say I got the chills too.

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