Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

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Posts made in June, 2013

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Court, Criminal, Judges, Procedure | 0 comments

About a year ago I wrote a post about judges. I wrote about how judges are powerful but largely not discussed in legal blogs. Certainly their decisions get a lot of attention, but the human being, in robes, at the bench rarely gets much ink. And it’s still true. Judges are far less discussed than legal opinions or other lawyers or juries. So I was delighted to see the Seattle Times published an article about Judge Ron Kessler of King County Superior Court. And it wasn’t a puff piece. It focused on Judge Kessler’s decision to allow a convicted sex offender to go free. After the sex offender was released, he kidnapped and raped a young woman. The article highlighted the decision process a judge used and the multitude of decisions a judge makes in a day. I suppose in the interest of full disclosure I’ll say I’ve been in front of Judge Kessler and I consider him a perfectly reasonable jurist. But what I liked about the approach taken by the article was that it focused on process, rather than end result. As a defense attorney I get often get asked, “How can you defend these people, trying to get them on the streets again?” “Well,” I reply, “if people only earned a vigorous defense if they were innocent, the system would completely fall apart. Sometimes guilty people do go free to ensure innocent people are never incarcerated. But what someone does when they are released is their own business. I have no more control over what someone does with their life before I met them than after.” And that’s usually enough to get them to see things from a process-oriented perspective. My job, the judge’s job, even the prosecutor’s job, is to ensure a fair process. I usually don’t get too despondent if a judge rules against me, if I felt they reviewed my arguments and made a rational decision. As attorneys we don’t choose the facts we go to battle with. But as long as a client gets a fair shake, even if the facts seem particularly heinous, the system seems to work. The flip side are the judges who are incredibly slanted in one direction,...

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The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results and testimonials have been provided. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.