In Defense of Lawyers
Let’s face it: lawyers get a bad rap. They are the butt of so many jokes. People call them heartless, cold, and bloodthirsty like it’s part of the job description. While I’m sure most lawyers have thick enough skin to not worry about that, perhaps we have been giving them too hard a time. While I can’t speak for all lawyers, there is something to be said in defense of the profession. The truth is that we couldn’t get along as a productive society without them.
There are many different kinds of lawyers, including immigration lawyers, family law lawyers, personal injury lawyers, and criminal defense lawyers. It’s this last category that some people take issue with. I get it. It can be hard to understand why some lawyers would take on cases in which terrible people do terrible things. How could someone possibly defend someone who was guilty of such a terrible crime? Well, that’s the first problem. They’re not guilty yet. In some cases, the defendant is the one being treated poorly. From lazy police work to false testimony, there are more than a few ways for people to be falsely accused of terrible crimes. That happens more than any of us would like to think, because we want to have faith in our criminal justice system. Without criminal defense lawyers, the falsely accused would be making up a higher percentage of United States’ prisoners.
Of course, I know the falsely accused are not the majority of people facing criminal charges. In many cases, those who are charged with crimes are guilty of their crimes. The trouble is, there is so much nuance to saying someone is a “criminal.” While it may be true that they broke the law, we should try to look at the honest truth of the case rather than how much the government punishes people for it. For example, most of the people who are incarcerated in the United States are guilty of drug-related offenses. Thinking about it critically, it may not be fair that someone who was found with cocaine is sentenced to jail for so long. And afterward, it can be extremely hard for them to find a job or get back into the flow of free society. People make mistakes, and even if they’re terrible mistakes, it’s a lawyer’s job to make sure that they are treated fairly under the law, whether we agree with them or not.
Lawyers do everything in their power to help their clients, such as this firm that uses high-tech forensic science to get to the bottom of their clients’ cases. So, while we may not personally want to defend criminals who have been charged with heinous crimes, it’s a good thing that we have people who do. If we didn’t, the entire system would be thrown out of whack.