Daily Archives: April 19, 2008

8 simple rules…

Scott has shamed me into posting. Again. He has two posts on things that should always happen and things that should never happen. He asks us to think of it as a legal Rorschach test.

All people who believe that convicting innocent people is an acceptable necessity of an imperfect system should nominate one member of their family to go to prison “just to be safe.”

Government should never spend more on prisons than education.

So here are my contributions. Some may be repeats from his posts and it’s an incomplete list, mostly because I’m too busy soaking up the sun. But. Here goes:

Must happen:

  1. Appellate Judges must spend three weeks a year practicing in the “real world”.
  2. Defense lawyers must meet with clients at least twice before getting them to plead.
  3. Prosecutors must spend two weeks in our chair.
  4. Prosecutors must keep victims informed of progress in cases.
  5. Identifications must be performed using the double-blind, sequential method.

Must not happens:

  1. Harmless error must never be used as an excuse again.
  2. Claims must not be deemed abandoned because you forgot to object for the 5th time.
  3. Prosecutors must never hide exculpatory evidence and get away with it.
  4. Defense lawyers must never forget that someone’s liberty depends on our efforts.
  5. Prosecutors must never be afraid to challenge the police’s investigation (after all, they are after truth, not convictions).
  6. People must not be tricked into confessing.
  7. Police must never lie on affidavits.
  8. Defense lawyers must never forget that it is all about the clients.
  9. Defense lawyers must never forget that they can always do better.