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Why Defending The Guilty Is Just A Lawyer’s Job

Criminals and lawyers alike are both very touchy and controversial topics of conversation among most. A good percentage of our society, view it as completely outrageous that a human being can willingly defend someone who is guilty. Guilty of crimes such as murder, rape, fraud and other acts that make our stomachs churn.

As a person we usually possess our own internal moral compass that instinctively tells us what is right and wrong. Assisting someone who behaves in a way that morally offends us would be sure to dismantle this structure of what we think is right.

Yes, it does therefore feel slightly controversial to defend those who have committed repugnant crimes. However, before anyone attacks those individuals an understanding of the system is vital. Lawyers are part of an adversarial system and from want of causing too much outcry it is fair to say that they are simply doing their jobs.

Bluntly stating it like this may be quite offensive, so let me explain the context a little more. For the system to work each side needs to be wholly and equally represented. This of course isn’t always the case, however that is another whole issue in itself. This representation of each side is essential in the process of reaching an unbiased decision. Here is where we need to have faith that the system works and those who are guilty will be convicted.

It may sound heartless to say it like this, however with the system being as it is, lawyers and barristers will always represent guilty clients.

Abusing and ripping to shreds legal professionals who take on guilty clients is an uneducated and unfair means of dismembering their reputations. These professionals have spent a long time qualifying themselves with expertise and skill. Outrage at what they do is as useful as complaining about the shopkeeper or the doctor simply doing what they are paid to do.

It may sound heartless to say it like this, however with the system being as it is, lawyers and barristers will always represent guilty clients. If they didn’t the system in its entirety would breakdown.

I’m not saying that this job is applicable across all lawyers as it most definitely isn’t. It takes a certain kind of person to take on this work. You have to detach yourself completely from your own ethics and morals and abide by a specific canvass of legally applicable ethics.

A large portion of society favour the huge misconception that these lawyers are all obviously devoid of morals or criminals themselves – let’s not be ignorant here. But at the end of the day, it is there job and it may be their choice to do so, but someone has to do it. They are not evil, or sociopaths or whatever other vision of darkness people believe. They are just regular members of society who go to work like everyone else.

The stigma attached to legal professionals is one of misunderstandings. Yes it is still hard to conceive that they willingly do their best for those who have done wrong. But the negativity should be driven towards the failures of the adversarial system not those who work within its bounds.

So before you crack your next ‘lawyer joke,’ please stop and reconsider these hardworking members of society.

They’re just doing their job, after all.

Image Source: / iStock.

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