Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Criminal Defense and Prison Conditions

with 2 comments

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.

Written by sara

February 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. I like this one:

    “We, as criminal defense lawyers, are forced to deal with some of the lowest people on earth, people who have no sense of right and wrong, people who will lie in court to get what they want, people who do not care who gets hurt in the process. It is our job–our sworn duty–as criminal defense lawyers, to protect our clients from those people.” —Cynthia Roseberry


    February 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dave Frank, Prison Law Blog. Prison Law Blog said: Criminal Defense and Prison Conditions […]

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