Advertisement

Defending Defenders

April 28, 1985

In your April 21 article "Stinging Debate Triggered by Indictment of Lawyer," with the subtitle "Defense Attorneys Under Siege," there were several quotes attributed to U.S. Atty. Peter K. Nunez that should not go unanswered.

First, Mr. Nunez certainly knows better than to insinuate that defense attorneys upholding our oath of office and our constitution are somehow not doing good for society. This concept is contrary to the very foundation of our criminal justice system, which is based on both the prosecution and defense playing vital roles to ensure that justice is done.

Next, Mr. Nunez states, "They (criminal defense attorneys) are not altruistic. They are generally not there to do good for society." This statement is just not true. Most attorneys representing those accused of crime do so because they are concerned about the welfare of others (Webster's definition of altruism), and because of a deep commitment to our society.

It should be noted that the financial rewards for working in the U.S. attorney's office are greater than the income earned by the majority of criminal defense attorneys.

Finally, the suggestion by Mr. Nunez, that in order to do good for society, one should be a prosecutor is absurd. We are proud to be criminal defense attorneys and an integral part of our criminal justice system. It is our belief that defending our Constitution and ensuring that every person's life and/or liberty is not taken away without due process of law does a great good for our community and our country.

ALEX L. Landon

President

San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Assn.

ELISABETH SEMEL

President

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyers Club

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|