How Could You Represent That Jerk?

We often hear that question. Why do good lawyers represent bad people?

The reason they do is to protect all of our rights. What would happen if we had legal protections for only “nice” people?

Every school child knows, the accused does not have to say anything to the police, the prosecutor or the court. The State must be the one to prove; beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused committed the crime. Why? Because upon conviction, the accused is locked up in jail. What if it was easy for the State to lock people up? How many nice people would be locked up if it was easy for the State to do so?

Early in my career, I represented a huge jerk. The jerk was accused of a crime that I was clearly able to show he did not commit. Upon my showing the accused did not commit the crime, the prosecutor ( not a Scott County prosecutor) said to me- “so, if he is not guilty of this crime, he is probably guilty of something else.” The prosecutor was likely right. But, if you were the accused, would you want the State to lock you up just because you were “probably guilty of something else”? No. The worst creep in the world is the one making sure the State proves its cases beyond a reasonable doubt.