Friday, April 11, 2008

$%^&*() Defense Lawyers...

They mystify me. Last week I tried a preliminary hearing, a brutal home invasion robbery. Victim was about 60 or so, soft spoken man. (As so often happens in my work, every participant was Black.)

V came home after taking his rent money to the landlady, and was surprised by two masked men emerging from his bathroom! One had a pistol and demanded money, but V resisted- he grabbed the unarmed man, the defendant in the trial. Deft immediately told his partner, "Shoot him!"

Disobeying, partner forced V to the floor, beat him in the head, and caused injuries which resulted in brain surgery.

V was able to recognise Deft because a week before, V had been late paying for drugs, and the dealer had brought Deft over to help get the $45 from V with threats of violence. (He paid up the next day.)

So, after it was over, Defense Lawyer said,

"You're going to have trouble at the trial, your V was buying drugs".

Staghounds- "I expect in every jury there are at least four people who have, or do, buy a little weed. They won't think it's no big deal to rob and brain damage Grandfather there because he gets high now and again."

DL- "Yes, but still, he was buying drugs!"

S- "Did you miss the part with the last week encounter? Old man buying reefer versus THUMBBREAKER FOR THE MAN WHO SOLD IT TO HIM. One wins that sympathy battle."

DL- "And he didn't have the gun! And V attacked him!"

S- "After he broke in and was robbing him! And he told the man who DID have the gun to shoot him! Old man hitting home invader versus home invader who tells partner to shoot old man. Again, advantage State."

DL- "Well, your guy is Gay..."

Really. Here's someone who day in and day out defends drug users and dealers- victimless crime, tragedy of lives ruined by drug prohibition...

But as soon as drug use by a victim is a weapon to help a violent predator get away with an unprovoked attack on an inoffensive old man, it's "dope fiend!"

One despairs.

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