So, I have been catching some flak lately from anonymous commenters that I am not “balanced” enough. That my view of the criminal defense system is “rancid”. Apparently I should acknowledge that cops are good people and victims are sympathetic. What a joke. Imagine this scenario. YOU are charged with a crime. You are guilty or not, I don’t care. You go to a criminal defense lawyer. He looks at the charges and the discovery and says “wow, thank God the cops caught you”! Man, those cops are such good people. The DA’s are going to do their job really well too. And boy do I ever feel sorry for your victim. My heart really goes out to him. My job is to make sure that there is balance in the system because, after all the Bill of Rights really reflects a concern that criminals like you have too many technical rights. Sure I see that the cops tortured that ‘confession’ out of you, but hey, you are guilty right"? Apparently there are some people who read this blog that would hire that lawyer to fight for them. Well, I’m sorry but that is not my style. I am a defense lawyer. As a general rule I hate cops (although I have been friends with some). What can I say? If my views on this profession offend you, I am sure that there are blogs written by or about cops or DA’s. Go read one of them and stop leaving naive comments on mine. My job as a defense lawyer is not to be sympathetic to “victims” or to like cops or counsel for the State (although I have been friends with DA’s before too). And the fact that anyone would argue with the position that a large portion of the Bill of Rights was designed to protect those accused of a crime is simply moronic. As I have said before, if you don’t like my views or you expect me to be half-hearted about my profession, you can simply fu&k off. Seriously. Fu&k off. I am a defense lawyer and I make no apologies for it. Especially when the cops are doing things like shooting unarmed kids in their own driveways. See http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/01/08/baseballer.shot/

As for other things, we are waiting for Mt. Redoubt to blow. We are in no danger except for the ash fall. I guess the ash is microscopic and will ruin cars and electronics if they are not adequately protected. Bad news for me as I have to go to Homer on Sunday for a trial. I would prefer not to leave the family if it goes off but I don’t have much choice. I would like to be here to get some kick ass pics! We have stocked up on the essentials as the Alaska Volcano Observatory http://www.avo.alaska.edu/ says that an eruption is “expected” within days or weeks. The most probable outcome is an eruption like the one pictured here (with thanks and acknowledgement to the photographer Warren, J).

Comments

dan said…
I'm certainly not going to post anonymously.

You're being narrow-minded when ranting (yes, ranting) about cops, prosecutors and "the system". You sound like a petulant child.

Dude, grow the f*** up.

You, and of course me (although to a much lesser degree since I am basically awesome) are the system, your job is just as important as mine (yes, I truly believe this) but so are the cops' jobs. We're all important.

Where's your humor? or humour? You've seriously gotten WAY too uptight in the past few months.
Anonymous said…
You work with the other guy I take it? I'm not trying to tell you not to be a zealous advocate. I just think lawyers should be ethical and fair like the oath they take.

I think it's super that you care a lot about your job and your role in the system. It is just a little upsetting that some are unable to even acknowledge the need for the other part. If it weren't for the evil people that devote their lives to protecting you and yours then there'd be no need for your profession and you could have the anarchy that some wish for.

Are there too many laws? Probably. Are there bad people in law enforcement? Sure. Are there evil defense lawyers? You bet. I respect PDs generally more than the ones that charge their clients for crap and don't care for them OR the law.

I may poke a little fun but I do respect your profession. Can you not respect those in others that do it for the right reasons??

I love this country too. I'm glad you seem to so much. I've served it and been shot at for it yet I get the feeling that you'd just scream "babykiller" or some such at me if we were to meet.

Keep the government honest. But don't assume that everyone in it is the cartoon charicature stereotype that you have heretofore argued. I'm betting both "sides" of the system feel the courts are biased for the other and so on and so on.

Anyway... it's your blog, I just stumbled across. Don't go on about killing people you don't know and give those people a break that work opposite you. You can still be zealous just also be respectful.
Anonymous said…
Just attention seeking and blog blowharding behavior. I would guess Ben is sexually attracted to holsters and handcuffs.
Anonymous said…
who's Ben? There is more than one "Anon"
dan said…
Anonymous #1 - HAHA! No freaking way do I work with Ben.

Come out from behind your mask. You're no Publius.
Dan: I have always respected your views, especially because you do not post anonymously. You are right: I have no sense of humor when it comes to anonymous posters making stupid comments. I don't find it funny. What do you want me to say? I fully realize we need DA's. Don't get me started on cops. Do we need a few. Yup. Do we need 40 or 50 cops here in Kenai/Soldotna? Nope. Anon #1, you are not the person who posted earlier. Far less spelling errors for one thing. Respectful? Of who? Show me an individual DA who understands the meaning of mercy and I will be respectful. Show me a cop who is not a heavy handed thug and I will be respectful. Babykiller? Really? Didn't that go out with returning Vietnam soldiers? Just because I opposed the war in Iraq doesn't mean I would call you a babykiller. And, being a former soldier, I would think you be supportive of the idea of using force to defend your proerty. I am not threatening to kill those I don't know. I am making it clear that I don't accept those threatening my property lightly. If it was you then you should know better. If not, then I supsect your reaction would be the same, even if you won't admit it. Anon # 2, you sound more like the ass clown that started all this. Dan: I will try to lighten up. I think for now I will turn on comment moderation and simply delete the comments that piss me off so much.
By the way, I disgree with your basic premise Dan. This whole string started when someone criticized me for having my public defender batteries recharged by going to the Liberty Bell. Pointing out after that that the system is designed to protect the accused is not a rant. Trust me, I know a rant. I am an expert. That was not a rant.
Anonymous said…
I'm not anon 2 and did not leave the other "rancid" comment, but I did post the one with the oath etc. Yes I was a soldier. I was a cop. I've never shot an unarmed person and the reality is most officers hardly ever draw a weapon in their career. 40 or 50 cops in Kenai? No way you have that many. You are telling me that no DAs you work with know mercy. Guess what I do. Guess how many cases I screen out that you NEVER see. I have more pro pers than you have clients! I have shown mercy and watched people go reoffend and do worse. For all that, I try to remember that I serve everyone. And I still try to be compassionate. Most of the people I see just made a mistake and will probably never be back. I've only seen a handful of evil people. The difference is I've seen the person that created the file your holding when they created it. You've only seen the aftermath. It is an eye opener and I'd like to think that it makes me more realistic.

I'll remain anonymous because I don't know you. It was me who joked about stealing your boat. To be clear I am joking and never would want anything I said to be perceived as a threat. Just trying to make the point that I have dealt with so many that hate me...until THEY need me. So moderate a little because someday you may need my services or a colleagues in law enforcement. Don't be so vigilante or you'll just need to keep moving farther and farther away, or remember that it is you that is putting your information out for all to see and to comment on.

I'm done now. Good luck and like your friend? Dan said, just lighten up a little and you'll be happier!
Dan said…
I don't want you to say anything than what is on your mind and in your heart (isn't that a title of a Michael Bolton song????).

Don't let the retards get you down. The only way to stay sane in this job (I'm going on 6 years) is to have a sense of humor.

Oh, and don't be a fascist like me and moderate your comments. :)
Publius (formerly just anon) said…
NOW I know who Dan is! hahaha. Guess I'll see you at the next conference! Sorry about all the ruffled feathers:(
Anonymous said…
Gee Ben,
I had been trying to get you to admit some of these things for years. I had always understood how you think and that your views are not as radical as you let on. Dan, thanks for bringing that out in Ben. Some of what he said in his responses were originally told to him by me. He does understand the balance. In Ben's job as a Defender of the Constitution, he fights agressively to protect those rights of some that are wrongfully accused, over prosecuted, or that flat out did some bad stuff. He needs to make sure we do our jog correctly of protecting the public. If you are punishing a horse for misbehaving by doing what is necessary for the horse to understand he did wrong then show him the right way, they will usually respect you. If you severely beat a horse for a minor infraction, the horse only learned that he just survived an attack by the brutal human. Nothing else. Ben's job is to make sure that does not happen. Often times, the sheep are critical of the work us sheep dogs do when protecting them from the wolves. Even with that, we will protect them anyway. That is what we do and Ben also knows that. He just wants us to do it right. In his blogs, he is releiving frustrations he goes through during the day and when he gets to the keyboard in the evening, he lets us have it. I have always feared making a bad split decision on shooting someone who is innocent weather he is black, white or whatever. I feel for both the cop and the family he devestated. I have been fortunate to be able to find at the last moment the right choice on the shoot, don't shoot moments. Ben comes off like a jerk sometimes. It is mostly because he has a set of balls and will stand up for what he believes in. I want you to know Ben is actually a cool guy. I miss him here in California. Ben, keep up the balance and we will keep the sheep safe.
Phil..................
Anonymous said…
I would contend that the role of defense attorney, particularly the public defender, is far more consistent with the our nations' founding concepts than any arm of the state. As good citizens, we should be afraid of the excesses of government. We should be happy that there's a limiting influence on government. In particular, limiting the discretion of cops and district attorneys. Public defenders (and to a lesser extent defense attorneys generally), in my view, are on the front lines, and the ONLY line, in this struggle.

That is why it has become increasingly disturbing to me that the wholehearted embrace of law enforcement expressed by the comments on this blog has taken over jury pools and the judiciary (especially in states where judges are elected).

Cops and DAs are NOT HEROES. They are a necessary evil to investigate and prosecute major crimes. Crimes that, if not pursued, would result in social instability. However, our society has permitted such intrusions that even the most de minimus personal behavior is treated with jail time.

This sort of expansionist tendancy ought to be terrifying to any freedom-loving citizen of this nation.
fdr said…
"Cops and DAs are NOT HEROES."

Well, my kids think I am a hero, which is what really matter. After all, its only my family (and a few others) that were there for me when I saw a guy put a bullet in his girlfreinds head, then fire one right over my shoulder. They were the ones their for me after I had given mouth to mouth resuccitation to a 9 month old who's mother's boyfreind beat him to death. Or when I had to pick up the pieces from the 4 teenagers killed on the way home from the prom. ONe girls dress was still pretty, even though she was now decapitated.

Not looking for accolades. Just compassion.
Well hell, we all have our point of view. I've removed the comment moderation and I'll just move on. I'm in Homer doing a felony DUI trial and I'll write when I get home.
Anonymous said…
"40 or 50 cops in Kenai? No way you have that many."

I wish we only had that few.

In the 12 Mile Radius of the Kenai Court House the actual count is 73.
Not Counting Summer Hires, 4 man drug team and Federal Fish cops, VPSO, Court Service and State Park Rangers. Add Homer and Seward and the other Trooper Posts the count will break 100 in the Summer.

Less than 60,000 people on the Peninsula and the Cops write more tickets, arrest more people per capita than anywhere else in the State. Troopers put their baby troopers loose on the public here. Training for a year or so.

On the other hand there ain't no gangs to worry about.
Rob said…
Those that cannot appreciate this last posting have never worked as a criminal defense lawyer or been wrongfully accused of a crime. I have – both. Representing those accused of crimes is God’s work. Keep it up!

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