Criminal Defense Attorney Practicing in Hobbs, New Mexico. The views expressed on this website are my views, which I write as a private citizen, and do not represent the opinion of the Law Offices of the Public Defender.
"For a wrongful indictment is no laughing matter; often it works a grievous, irreparable injury to the person indicted. The stigma cannot be easily erased. In the public mind, the blot on a man's escutcheon, resulting from such a public accusation of wrongdoing, is seldom wiped out by a subsequent judgment of not guilty. Frequently, the public remembers the accusation, and still suspects guilt, even after the acquittal."
The single best opinion ever written by any judge or justice who's ever sat down to write.
They can make miracles happen right before your very eyes.
They can free wrongly accused individuals.
They can enlighten you with their words.
They can speak real truth to real power.
Because, if you were trained the way I was, you never stop reading the words of judges. And sometimes it gets really, really boring. Mind numbingly boring. But you must continue to do it.
And then one day, after three or more opinions, in what seems like another boring criminal procedure opinion, there is a sentence, a line, a thought that changes your life. That makes you stand up and take notice.
That makes you reread that line. And take it all in. And then you put the opinion down, and think.
And then you go to your kitchen and grab something from your refrigerator and think some more.
And then you cry.
You really, really cry because of one single line. You sob. Just like you did when you first heard Dylan sing "Buckets of Rain."
You cry like a baby.
Because the law, and judges, can do that if you truly, truly believe.
Do you believe that Miranda was about the right to remain silent?
Then your a fool. Because Miranda is about human dignity. It is just couched in a boring criminal procedure opinion.
Do you believe that Gideon is about the right to counsel?
Then your a fool. Because Gideon is about human dignity. It is just couched in a boring criminal procedure opinion.
My number one hero wrote the words that set me free.