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Oct242011

Trial Reflections

Trials are the ultimate exercise for an attorney, and it takes specialized training to conduct one properly.  It is an odd experience, the preparation is a survey of sometimes facts and circumstances of which the attorney has limited knowledge.  In addition to mastering the facts, the attorney is often required to master an area of relatively sophisticated expertise: it could be amongst the trades plumbing or electricity, or amongst the professions, medicine or psychology.  

For today's trial it was a master of a lifetime of criminal conduct by the client, and a try at understanding the nature of psychologist testimony as to the client's potential future dangerousness.  The government was attempting to commit the client civilly as too dangerous to let lose on society.  If the client loses, he faces a very uncertain future, and could wind up spending the rest of his life in the civil equivalent of a prison.  In fact, the client recognized his dilemma.  When discussing the trial and testimony, the client would break down and cry: "I don't want to die here."

It could happen.  There is certainly little sympathy for a man in his situation: a lifetime of crime, hurting other people, seemingly uncontrollable.  If he gets out, his past dictates he will hurt someone again.  But then maybe not, and how can we punish someone for in essence future conduct.  We'll have to see.  

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