Criminal Defense and Prison Conditions
Criminal defense attorneys are often asked “How can you defend those people?” Here’s one attorney’s answer (from 1980):
Those guilty of serious crimes merit the wrath of our society. But almost no one deserves the hell holes that we call jails and prisons. There is almost no case I would not defend if that meant keeping a human being, as condemnable as he or she may be, from suffering the total, brutal inhumanity of our jails and prisons…
– John B. Mitchell, “The Ethics of the Criminal Defense Attorney–New Answers to Old Questions,” 32 Stanford Law Review 293, 320-21 (1980). Reprinted in Rhode & Luban, Legal Ethics, 5th ed. (Foundation Press), 305-6. Link here for those with HeinOnline access.