Attorneys advocate by the good book

07/22/2014 2:07 PM

07/22/2014 8:58 AM

Re "Defense must be about justice," (Letters, July 21): Letter writer Peter Guttman momentarily tipped his hat toward public defender Jeff Adachi's call for respecting criminal defense lawyers, only to accuse those lawyers of using every trick in the book.

The book my colleagues and I follow is the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights and court decisions. In 1895, the U.S. Supreme Court in Coffin v. United States, instructed that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused, tracing its roots to the Book of Deuteronomy. In 1983, the California Supreme Court in People v. McKenzie, taught that a criminal defense attorney is required to act as a "vigorous advocate and to provide the client with whatever defense he can muster."

Should Guttman or a friend ever be accused of wrongdoing, he will be happy to have a lawyer who has read these books and applies their lessons vigorously.

-- Jerry E. Shapiro, Sacramento

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