Lawyers in general are not looked upon favorably. Public opinion is that the people in this profession are only in it for the money; they don’t care about the people. There are jokes, criticisms and “lower than pond scum” comments made about attorneys every day. Here’s one joke; “Do you know the difference between an attorney and a herd of buffalo? The attorney charges more.” Or this one, “What’s the difference between a female attorney and a pit bull? Lipstick.” Oh yes, the public does not think too highly of attorneys. Take the money aspect away from an attorney and one might wonder why someone would choose this career. Take the money aspect away and you are talking about a public defense attorney. Why would someone want to be a public defender?
It takes someone special to be a public defender. Knowing that you are representing those accused of criminal activities certainly brings negative public opinion. People want to see someone who is accused of a crime pay for their actions. Knowing that an attorney is helping that person can make that attorney the target of public outrage. But isn’t someone who is accused of a crime, innocent until proven guilty? Isn’t that person entitled to the best defense they can get? If you were in the defendant’s place wouldn’t you want someone on your side?
Those who choose to defend people who are accused of crimes are interested in seeing justice done just like everyone else. They have entered this area of law to make sure the rights of those accused are not violated. Imagine what would happen to those people who were unable to afford a defense attorney. Most likely they would be railroaded by the system. Defense attorneys love the law so much that they honor the Constitution by ensuring that the chance for justice is available to all people. That’s right, they honor the constitution. It’s written right in the Sixth Amendment that a person shall have counsel for his defense. Our forefathers felt this was important for our society.
So, the next time you have a thought that a defense attorney must be crazy for representing someone so obviously guilty, remember the important task they are performing. Remember our Constitution and the right of everyone to a fair trial. Our country was founded on equal rights and a fair system. Defense attorneys are an important part of this plan.