What do you think about capital punishment? Do you think we should try ’em and fry ’em or do you think we should be “weak on crime.” How I feel is irrelevant to the point I would like to discuss (even if I am weak on crime). Apparently there is a new tactic being employed by those who would see the death penalty outlawed, one that has had good results in the state of Illinois. The gist is, how do those that end up on death row get there? The answers apparently led death penalty advocates and opponents alike to seek an end to executions in Illinois. Someone I was speaking to earlier today was not impressed. “What about people whose attorneys fell asleep at trial? Do you think they got a fair trial?”, I asked. Our criminal justice system apparently is overwhelmed, much like all of our other “systems” in this country. As a result, there apparently are corners of the country where appointed legal representation is not exactly world class. I reminded my conversation partner that we, as a society, have decided that legal representation in criminal matters is a basic right. I was advised that F. Lee Bailey does not do pro bono. It’s funny how people tend to make my point for me. I wondered if justice is reserved for those who can pay for it. I wonder if the right to legal representation is satisfied by a license to practice law and a pulse.
I saw the look on the other person’s face and I wondered why I try.