27 December 2012


Occasionally as a criminal defense attorney you have a client who gives every appearance of being a person who can not be helped. In order to have even an interest in helping someone escape prison or jail, that person should show some small inclination in helping themselves. There are those who have very little, if any, socially redeeming value-they merely exist on the planet wandering about without the minutest contribution to anyone's well-being. True, as they do not produce anything, they consume very little-just enough to keep themselves alive. These people actually improve their prospects by being placed in jail or prison. They have food, warmth, and a bed to sleep in. These are items that may or may not be available to them regularly outside of jail. In these cases, their attorney should make little effort to have them released as early as possible contrary to their protestations. After all they have things to do, places to go, and people to see or so they say. Attorneys have ethical rules they must follow. These rules go to the idea that attorneys exist to assist their clients when dealing with legal problems, especially those of a criminal nature. The client comes first. However, clients come along whose reality is significantly different from the common. This can be the result of mental imbalance, stupidity, or simple ignorance. Ignorance can often be cured, but not the other two disabilities mentioned. There is no help for stupidity and little for the mentally deranged. We have a vast array of therapeutic placements for those hovering around the criminal justice system. Unfortunately little distinction is made between a person who is schizophrenic and one who has an IQ of 75 or one who simply doesn't give a rat's ass. We have apparently come to the conclusion, here in the U.S.A., that all can be helped, all can be productive members of society, all can learn to do what they are told. This is nonsense. To rehabilitate implies that a person at one point in his life did not need rehabilitated; the person exemplified the qualities most desired in a citizen. This premise is incorrect. We have a difficult time accepting the fact that there are those who simply can not or will not function as the society would have them function. I suppose we could take them out and shoot them like the Nazis did. We forget that the Nazis were killing their lunatics, schizophrenics, malformed long before they were gassing the Jews and gypsies. Theirs was an attempt to strengthen the race; a replacement for natural selection or a form of it. Since most societies have rejected this method of maintaining themselves, other solutions must be found. One thing we do have in common, however, is that these people should not be allowed to decide for themselves what is best for them. Someone else must do the deciding. It is certain, we will not leave them alone. They are far too obnoxious and annoying to be allowed to roam about at will. It may cost a great deal, but if they are incarcerated they will not bother the general public with their numerous needs; they will no longer be inconvenient and we can safely ignore them if they have been disappeared.