Category: compassion

  • Prosecutors Protecting Children (But Only When It’s Convenient)

    Prosecutors seem so proud of themselves when they argue, “Don’t show me photos of the defendant’s kids. He had those kids when he committed the crime and he didn’t think about them then.” The particular quote is from Jane Starnes, a former Harris County prosecutor (and Bellaire neighbor of ours) who now prosecutes in John […]

  • The Myth of the Ruthless Lawyer

    Young Shawn Matlock, Fort Worth “Republican” criminal defense lawyerattorney, responds to my position that empathy makes us better lawyers and in doing so asks the following: But what about ruthless? Ruthless to get exactly what you want. Ruthless to not settle for less. Ruthless to take no prisoners, no matter what the cost to others. […]

  • DA Traits: Arrogance and Viciousness or Humility and Compassion

    I had an email conversation recently with a friend who’s a prosecutor. I wrote: Our next DA needs to know that he or she is not part of a dynasty, is only temporary, is human and fallible, and answers ultimately to the families of the accused, who greatly outnumber the families of the victims. He […]

  • The Question of Compassion

    AHCL thinks that she and I are coming at the question of compassion from different starting points. AHCL writes: You know, I think the reason that I disagree with Marky Mark and some of the other posters on a lot of the issues is because we begin on different starting points when we make our […]

  • Compassion and Sociopathy

    There’s an interesting argument discussion at Life at the Harris County CJC about the role of compassion in prosecution. Commenter PJ says: We don’t need righteous DA’s doing “battle” with “criminals.” We need people serving the public fairly, with at least some degree of understanding and compassion from whence “criminals” come. Commenter anonymous c responds: […]

  • Compassion Revisited

    One commentator to Scott Greenfield’s recent post, The Battle Lines are Drawn, wrote: If you are worrying about harm to others you are in the wrong line of work. Your sole duty is a duty of zealous advocacy to the client. We don’t have a duty to do justice. Harming others is part of the […]

  • “The Question” and Compassion

    Ed Chernoff, who blogs beautifully but infrequently, writes here about “The Question” and an encounter with a dove. (It seems that nobody ever asks me “The Question” anymore. I don’t know why that is; I may just be associating with more compassionate people than I used to.) Ed’s cat Willie brought Ed a dove. Ed […]