A Lawyer Joke

After 23 years and the coverage provided by the most downloaded podcast of all time, Baltimore prosecutors dropped charges against Adnan Syed, due to the results on never-before-tested DNA from the victim’s shoes. Obviously, most cases don’t get the attention of a podcast series like Serial and most of those wrongly imprisoned stay in jail. In The Atlantic, Jake Tapper describes one of many such cases where a suspect who can’t afford a good lawyer is given without the time or interest (or either) to provide adequate representation. As much as anything else, this is the story of American justice. How Bad Can a Lawyer Be? “Readers will draw their own conclusions about what happened on the night of September 25, 2011. My father and I have drawn ours. There is certainly reasonable doubt—an excess of reasonable doubt—that Rice committed the crimes of which he was accused. But what happened after that night is not open to argument: Rice lacked legal representation worthy of the name. And as he has discovered, the law provides little recourse for those undermined by a lawyer. The constitutional ‘right to counsel’ has become an empty guarantee.”

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