All we know is that they were evil

I’ve been away most of the weekend and am behind in the news, but it seems clear that we do not yet know why these idiots bombed Boston.

So when I see posts saying “They are Islamic terrorists” or “they are right-wing extremists” or “they are Obama supporters” I just ignore them, and I advise everyone else to do so as well until we know more.

The only thing we know for sure is that they were evil.

5 thoughts on “All we know is that they were evil

  1. Just a pop question, Mike:

    If you were suddenly notified that you’d be defending the surviving bomber, would you still maintain he was evil (just keep it to yourself), but defend him to the best of your ability? Or would you need to look for opportunity to change your personal conviction about his being evil before you could accept the case? Or would you use your conviction that he was evil as a type of defense, maintaining – I don’t know – that his mental state was such that it constituted diminished capacity?

    Wild speculation that won’t happen, of course. But for me an interesting question using an existing extreme to better understand our legal system.

    A quick tangent question: I know that the bomber’s Miranda rights are temporarily negated in order to preserve the immediate safety of the public. At what point to they notify a defense attorney that he/she is on the case? (Whether it be a retained lawyer or a public defender.)

    Thanks in advance for your insights!


      • I represent evil people all the time. They all deserve the same rights as everyone else. It is up to the DA to prove them guilty. When the evidence is overwhelming, then usually deals are made. I blogged about this previously:

        The fact that Miranda rights are “temporarily suspended” bugs me to no end. Rights are meaningless if we only give them to people we like. Somehow we have lost what it is that we are fighting for, when we put prisoners in jails without giving them hearings and lawyers and where we can kill Americans overseas by simply waving a magic wand and calling them “enemy combatants.”

        If anyone is denied rights, we all are.


  2. Mike,
    Thanks for the reply. I had read your other blog, and of course we’d talked about it the last time we were together. I probably should have been more specific.

    What I meant to point out was your use of the word “evil”. I don’t know that I’d ever heard/read you use that word to describe the moral character of a client/potential client. Certainly you have clients that are good people, bad people, none-too-bright people. Defendants who are clearly in the right, clearly in the wrong, or simply caught up in confusing circumstances. Defendants who have multiple DUIs are not necessarily evil. Those who use illegal drugs are not necessarily evil. Even those who kill another person are not necessarily evil.

    It was your judgment on the moral character of these two bombers being evil that caught me. I don’t mean this in a negative or derogatory way. But it struck me as a bit unusual and as a possible stumbling block.

    I’ve always admired your ability to clearly see, express, and act upon your role as a defense attorney. Being able to juggle rights, liberty, and justice while those around you are crying out for punishment is something we as a society should value highly.


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