Arrogant, or Just Dim?


Blonde Justice wrote yesterday about dealing with a none-too-bright prosecutor:

So, I continued, “Look, she’s been through a lot, but she’s getting her
life straightened out. She’s seeing a psychiatrist and a
psychologist…”
At which point the prosecutor interrupted, “Wait.”
Wait? Maybe she’s starting to get it?
“Wait,”
she continued, “You expect me to believe there’s a difference between a
psychiatrist and a psychologist? You’re just trying to pull the wool
over my eyes. You’re just trying to confuse me.”

A law school might be forgiven for graduating someone who doesn’t know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist . . . maybe. For good or ill, we don’t expect lawyers (much less baby lawyers) to be polymaths or even well-rounded human beings.
A DA’s office might be forgiven for hiring someone who doesn’t know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. After all, what good is a broad liberal education to a trial lawyer?*
But there’s something wrong with a prosecutor who not only doesn’t know the difference, but thinks that a criminal-defense lawyer is “trying to pull the wool over her eyes” by talking about psychologists and psychiatrists. This prosecutor, with no job or career or life experience, who has never “walked a mile in any shoes”, won’t confess her ignorance but instead blames the defense lawyer (the enemy, don’tcha know) for trying to confuse her.
Blonde Justice is making a point that is a favorite of mine: that we should expect those in a position to decide other people’s futures to have some clue how the world works. I’m not sure the Blonde’s prosecutor would be any less dim if the world were allowed to knock her down a few times, but at least she would have a better sense of her own shortcomings.

*Yes, that’s irony you detect.


0 responses to “Arrogant, or Just Dim?”

  1. I actually consider myself “lucky” because I’m 1/2 pure unadulterated Georgia redneck. My joke that I love to visit my cousins when they aren’t in jail is an actual truth.

    My cousins are as blue collar, hillbilly redneck as you can get. They can also make the word “dog” sound like it has 25 letters.

    It goes back to your post about a number of lawyers having very little real experience in “real life 101.”

    This particular prosecutor was even more galling since this was a subject that an educated person should understand.

    The problem is that we don’t see our own myopia. We tend to think we understand the world when in fact we’re pretty delusional about reality.

  2. “Arrogant or Just Dim” is a false dichotomy…

    In fact, I’d say there’s much more likely to be a causal connection than any sort of mutual exclusivity.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s the dim-ness that causes the arrogance, but it could go either way, and/or there could easily be a third factor which causes both.

  3. How was this person not hired by Fredo into the Bush Justice Department, alongside Monica Goodling? I know some prosecutors with depth and understanding but also know some who see the world about the way Toby Keith does (did you catch him on Colbert?) in simplistic terms while wearing blinders.

  4. Jamie, I think the arrogance is causing the dimness in this case. Some people just think they don’t need to learn anything, leading to a sort of fierce and determined ignorance.

  5. Windy:

    Let’s just make it a strict liability offense. That way we don’t need to determine cause or intent. We can just look at the action itself and condemn it.

  6. Just so long as we don’t call her “lazy” we’re all okay. I’m sure the baby prosecutor was prepared on every other aspect of the case. There are no lazy prosecutors at the DAs office. If you don’t believe me, ask them.

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