There’s a bit of outrage going on about one Massachusetts legislator who argued against the state passing Jessica’s Law, which mandates a ten-year minimum sentence for child rapists. James Fagan, who is also a defense attorney, outlined just why he opposed the law — because he, as a defense attorney, would do whatever he had to to protect a client from such a “draconian” penalty. And in pursuit of that, he would willingly do all he could to “destroy” the victim on the witness stand.
“(w)hen they’re 8 years old they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”
A lot of people would like to see Fagan resign, or removed from office. I disagree. I think he’s right where we need him.
Mr. Fagan committed the ultimate sin for a politician: he spoke God’s honest truth in public, on the record.
With his little soliloquoy, he gave us all a glimpse into the mind of the modern defense attorney:
Win at any cost.
They see their goal not as seeing justice prevail, not even making certain that justice is served and their client gets a fair trial, but to see that their client goes free.
That is the current state of our legal system, aided and abetted by far, far too many lawyers getting involved in the business of making laws. (According to one ad a Congressional candidate is running here in NH, there are 240 lawyers in Congress right now — out of 535 total members.)
We need to get a lot of these lawyers out of the law-making business.
But not Representative Fagan. We need a few like him, to serve as constant reminders of just why having that many lawyers in charge of making laws is such a bad idea.