Posted by Edmund R. Folsom
December 22, 2013
I was perusing my Twitter feed when I came across a Tweet from fellow criminal defense lawyer Bob LeBrasseur. It linked to one of Bob’s Facebook postings, reviewing the results he reached in a few of his recent cases, successfully drawing mercy for clients who had worked hard to straighten out their lives. That post drew a comment from another guy named LeBrasseur (probably his brother), that Bob is starting to sound like a liberal. The comment was obviously intended as a good-natured jab, but it highlights an interesting phenomenon: the common stereotyping of defense attorneys as liberals/Democrats and prosecutors as conservatives/Republicans. Even many defense attorneys fall into the mindset that all the prosecutors must be Republicans, when in fact, in this neck of the woods, I estimate that roughly 80% (if not more) of them are registered Democrats. It might be shocking to some that all conservatives don’t salivate at the thought of throwing the wayward into prison cells and all liberals don’t spend their spare time looking for a criminal to hug. On the defense side, what liberals and conservatives have in common is our appreciation of the critical need for skilled advocates to protect the individual against the power of the state– a power that is constantly pushing the margins of abuse, in a way that few truly appreciate until they find themselves on the wrong side of the “v.” in a criminal prosecution that bears their name. Mark my word, if you make it through this life without personally finding yourself in that position, and without finding a friend, family member or someone you think of as a fundamentally decent human being in that position, you will have made the entire journey as a charmed angel, surrounded by other charmed angels. This, the criminal defense attorney, whether liberal or conservative, knows for sure.
ARE ALL CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS LEFTIES AND ALL PROSECUTORS RIGHTIES?