A page on the website of a Sarasota-area newspaper recently bore this eye-catching headline: Man arrested for 25th time on burglary charges. Certainly, there was an element of Believe-It-Or-Not to the story. But if you looked beneath the headline — literally beneath it, way down where the web-reading public chimes in with their comments — you would find some equally perplexing statements. Basically, the collective hue-and-cry was a mix of outrage over the flawed U.S. legal system and a sort of wistful admiration for cultures that punish thieves by cutting off their fingers.
Really? What if a flawed legal system had access to that kind of punishment? Would that be a good thing? What if you or a loved one were the accused? Would you still long for a legal system designed to achieve the highest possible conviction rate, and to mete out the cruelest of punishments?
Second-guessing our judicial system has become a popular pastime as the media pump more and more sensational real-life crime dramas into our living rooms. Unfortunately, understanding the tenets of constitutional law is not nearly as entertaining. Most U.S. citizens have heard of the Bill of Rights (not to mention the right to remain silent and the rest of the Miranda Rights, which TV-watching kids learn along with their ABCs.) Still, many wonder how criminal defense attorneys can defend people who may be guilty of a crime.
The answer is: Criminal defense attorneys are not just defending a defendant — they are defending you. The founders of our nation were so concerned about the potential for tyranny in the legal system that five of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights address the rights of the individual in the legal process (including the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, thus keeping all of our fingers intact). The defense attorney’s job is to relentlessly protect those individual rights —which protect all Americans — from being trampled in the name of justice. If you face criminal charges, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney today.