The Purpose of Defence
I know it’s really hard for us to consider when we are looking at trials for serial murders and rapists, and people we ‘know’ are guilty. But defence lawyers are there to protect the judicial system as much as they are the accused.
- research cases that are similar and in countries where the rule of law is about community standards and precedents set, this helps the judge to rule and to advise the jury.
- make sure the police have behaved
- make sure the crown/district has a case and has proved it
- make sure their client is able to deal with and understand what is going on, and if they aren’t, to get them properly evaluated.
If they aren’t necessary, and the system is perfect, why are there innocent people who have spent years in prison? Why are BIPOC the greater majority of the residents in prisons/jails, for longer terms? Or in foster care?
But are they the angels of the court? Or part of the problem? Because whether they are elected or appointed, the courts are political structures. It’s the same as the HoC having an opposition party. It may seem like all they are is a nuisance, but what would it be like without them? So are they a necessary evil?
How do we see that defence is an honourable position and fund them accordingly? So the poor, frail and BIPOC aren’t rushed into a system that will misuse them for labour (whether public or private institutions) , sterilize the frail and women, abuse them and neglect their well being to the point where far too many die (even outside a pandemic).
In a call for defunding the police and the abolition of the prison system, what else can be offered?