Category: philosophy

  • Mmmmm…Chicha!

    Houston DUI lawyer Paul Kennedy, in Going for the Gut, calls to our attention this Boston Globe article by Drake Bennett about how disgust may shape our moral judgments. A few thoughts: First, one of the experiments discussed: In one study, [psychologist Jonathan Haidt] had some of his unfortunate test subjects respond to four vignettes […]

  • The Hunting of Justice (An Agony in Eight Fits)

    We have heard talk of “justice.” Is there anybody who knows what justice is? No one on earth can measure out justice. Can you look at any man and say what he deserves—whether he deserves hanging by the neck until dead or life in prison or thirty days in prison or a medal? The human […]

  • Happy Revolution Day

    Read the Declaration of Independence (I republish it here every year). The founders were not always patriots. They began as traitors, risking everything to sever their ties with the government that was supposed to keep them safe but that broke that promise and stole their freedom. America didn't become independent in the first week of […]

  • Why Prosecution? Be Realistic.

    Law student Laura McWilliams, blogging at Really? Law? (go ahead and add it to your feedreader now—done?—great), writes here and here about the thought process that has her leaning toward an eventual job prosecuting people. From the first post: In an idealist vision, (let’s just go with it; there’s nothing wrong with a little idealism) […]

  • More on Submission in Federal Criminal Court

    From a civilian’s comment on this post about “John R.,” the anonymous Rochester, New York personal injury lawyer who dabbles in criminal defense and scoffs at the Bill of Rights: I understand John R.’s position as it relates to United States of America jurisprudence. The legal system is heavily stacked in favor of the government […]

  • The Question: Seven Answers

    Here is The Question: Why do you defend people who you know to be factually guilty? The question is often phrased as “How . . .” or “How can you sleep at night when you . . .” but those demand smartass answers like “very well” or “on a pillowcase full of hundred-dollar bills.” Typically, […]

  • Thoughts on Nobility, Justice, and Frblniz

    If you’re the sort of person who needs anyone other than your dog to think you’re noble, criminal defense is the wrong line of work for you. Still, it’s nice that former criminal-defense lawyer and now prosecutor Ken Lammers thinks that the criminal-defense lawyer who takes the job of defending a “Reviled One,” and does […]

  • Honor, Integrity, Honesty, and Dignity

    Quite often a guilty subject will invoke such expressions as, “I swear to God I’m telling the truth,” “I hope my mother drops dead if I’m lying,” “I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles,” etc. Although expressions of this type cannot be considered as symptoms of deception, they frequently are used by guilty subjects in […]

  • The One Percent

    Heard at the criminal courthouse: We are 99% animal and 1% civilized, and it’s the one percent that gets us into trouble. It’s true, I think. Not because the one percent of us that is civilized motivates us to do the bad things that get us into trouble, but because the one percent likes to […]

  • Justice vs. The Law

    Defending People reader “Ryan”, writing at Plain Error, the official blog of the Innocence Project of Florida, responds to my “Law and Justice Explained.” post: As someone with the status just above armchair philosopher (disclosure: I will be attending graduate school for a PhD in philosophy in the fall), I have a few words on […]