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Thursday, January 19, 2012

It is not my job...(part 1)

Water is slowly dripping from the ceiling, not enough to actually warrant a new roof or even a bucket, but enough for mold to be growing like grass on the floor.  The sound it creates when the moisture hits the floor is akin to wet golashes pressing against an equally wet carpet.  There is a mixed sound of sobbing coming from the left and someone having sex down the hall to the right.  With the constant and aggressive slap of skin on skin contact you can't tell if it's consensual or forced.  Actually, you can't tell if the sobbing and the sex are in fact coming from two different directions.  There is a toxic smell of gasoline and body oder mixed with mold everywhere you turn.  It's 45 degrees outside so the air conditioning is blowing full blast and although you curl up in the fetal position so that you can fit under your 3X4 faux wool blanket, the cold slab pressed against your back makes that effort pointless.  Suddenly and without warning, the brightest lights you have ever seen illuminate your surroundings.  It's 4am & it's breakfast time...welcome to the County Jail.

2 days earlier a friend called you up, he needs a ride to his grandmothers house to pick up something.  You're a good kid, senior in high school, active in sports, going to Fill-in-the-blank University next fall on a basketball scholarship.  Your parents aren't rich or highly educated but they work hard and although they never married they were both very active in your life.  You have a girlfriend and a little brother that looks up to you and wants to be JUST LIKE YOU.  You're on the straight and you think nothing of it when your friend tells you that his grandmother goes to bed early so he has to get the spare key from the back door.  10 minutes later he comes from the back, hops in the car and tells you to go.

1 day after that you are arrested as an accessory to burglary.  The police interrogate you and based on what you share with're guilty. 

yes, you know where your friend lives.

no, that was not where he lived.

no, you have never taken him to this house before.

yes, you drove him there.

no, the lights weren't on.

yes, you drove him away when he came out.

I had a conversation with an ex-coworker yesterday and he asked how I could work so hard to get 'these people' off.  Before you judge, understand that that is what most people (even if they will not admit it) are thinking when they hear that you are a criminal defense attorney.  Truth be told it is not my job to get people off.  It is my job to make sure that the police, the investigators, the state AND the judge do their job and do it right.  It is my job to make sure that your full scholarship to Penn State doesn't turn into 15 years at State Penn, simply because you were not well versed in the law or the legal system. 

People seem to take less of an issue with judges that do their 'own thing' from the bench-even when it's not the right thing.  They do not hold the same harsh light on the prosecutor that commits misconduct during the course of the trial.  But public defenders, public "pretenders", public "offenders" AKA criminal defense attorneys?  People would readily string them up by their reproductive parts and let the birds eat away at their flesh.

It's not my job to "get people off" so don't judge me. But wake up in the county jail at 4am....and that's damn sure what you'll want me to do.

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, don't confess and don't consent.