Singing Loudly: Matlock and Criminal Defense Work

Singing Loudly

Friday, April 22, 2005

Matlock and Criminal Defense Work

Orin Kerr links to some commentary about a US News Report that looks into jury expectations in criminal proceedings that come from TV. I think that one of the bigger problems is the expectations of the actual defendants who have seen too many sensational TV shows and movies.

It's alarming when you're trying to help your client and all of a sudden he says, "if you knew anything you would have filed an interlockatory appeal." A what? I say. "I wouldn't be going to trial if you had filed an interlockatory appeal." Ok, first of all I've done everything that I can to try to make sure this doesn't go to trial but you don't want to accept their deal. More importantly, Texas doesn't have interlockatory appeals.

Then there is the pronounced expectation that public defenders are going to be worthless, run over by the DAs, and unable to do better than the defendant himself.

I guess the weirdest thing was when a defendant saw something on TV and thought it would be a good idea to do in his own case. Even the multiple conviction defendants didn't seem to really understand how the process worked and how to effectively establish doubt.


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