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Defense Attorneys
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Defense Attorneys


Published by the Escondido Times-Advocate --1994


Allen Polk Hemphill

It has become very evident, from watching the defense attorneys for O. J. Simpson, and the defense attorneys who endlessly analyze the proceedings, that defense attorneys are just plain crazy. Arthur Miller, Harvard professor and Good Morning America legal editor let the cat out of the bag with his curt analysis of criminal defense attorneys -- "It’s genetic!"

I’ll buy that. Just a few months ago a San Diego woman’s body was found in the freezer of a stolen truck found in the front yard of an Arizona residence. She had been missing for years. An electric cord ran from the house to the truck to keep the freezer running, and neighbors said the truck and the cord had been there for years. The dead woman’s clothes were found in the house. The defense attorney for the accused said that his defendant had told him that he was innocent, and he believed his client.

Now there are only two possible explanations. Either the defense attorneys of this nation are the craziest group in our society living outside a laughing academy with an annex for shrieks, or they are the individuals with the highest prices and lowest morals in this society. Either way, I think they should be watched closely and never left alone with the good silver.

I have heard the defense attorney for the Menendez brothers explain their double murder with conviction, so much so that there was no conviction. I have heard the defense attorney for "Football" Williams explain, with conviction, that his client was not guilty of attempting to murder Reginald Denny, even though we saw "Football" hurl the brick into the right temple of Denny. We have the Twinkie Defense, and the "Black Rage" defense, and the "Devil Made Me Do It Defense" and the ...

We have watched Racehorse Haynes, and Shapiro, and of course, William Kunstler declare O.J. to be innocent -- before the trial. Locally we have Milt Silverman, who succeeded in defending the udefendable Sagon Penn until justice finally put Mr. Penn behind bars. I believe that we should require that all criminal defendants live with their defense attorney’s families during and between all trials, so that defense attorneys can demonstrate the courage of their conviction that the defendant should be able to live freely in society.

The defense attorneys are not the only thing that is broken in the so-called justice system. I was recently called to jury duty for the second time in the past few years, and I now understand the remark of a friend and attorney much better. He told me, "I don’t want to be tried by a jury consisting of people too dumb to get out of jury duty!" I suspect that the courts and the jails are too crowded to even cite those who just throw the jury summons away, and almost any excuse written on the summons seems sufficient to be excused. I wanted to serve, but as you can imagine, my writings get me thrown off every panel.

Once called to jury duty, those few who have not thrown the summons away or written any excuse, can be excused for any one of a thousand reasons -- but the one most used is that a trial would prove a "financial hardship." That excuses almost everyone whose company will not pay for long absences, almost everyone who is self-employed, and almost everone who is actively searching for employment. The remainder are the chronically unemployed, the retired, welfare recipients, and government employees. Hardly a cross-section of society. On one civil trial panel I was briefly attached to, the judge asked how many of us did not understand the terms "co-mingling" and "fiduciary relationship." Nine of the twelve hands went up. Of the three remaining hands, two of us had been challenged and thrown off before I left the jury box and could find out about the third. The combined IQ of the jury pools I have seen would not approach Tony Gwynn’s batting average! Now we have a jury selected for the O.J. trial, and the legal reporter for one of the morning shows gently remarked that the technical aspects of DNA analysis was probably beyond the ability of this particular jury to comprehend.

Obviously, not everyone who is charged with a crime is guilty, and the prosecution must be able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt -- but someone, somewhere, must be guilty of something! Not if you can believe defense attorneys. Personally, I don’t think you can believe defense attorneys. They apparently have never seen a guilty person.

Anyone who is a criminal defense attorney might have other dangerous character flaws as well. I suspect they possess a criminal mind, but they lack of nerve the guts to commit mayhem themselves and have found another way to profit from criminality.



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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Allen Hemphill
Last modified: August 13, 2012