One question that is often asked is how lawyers can defend criminals who are obviously guilty. These lawyers are often wrongly accused of trying to make guilty people to get away and not convicted for their crime. However, this assumption is incorrect and it is important to be aware that in legal system, a person isn’t confirmed for his/her guilt, until it’s proven in the court proceeding. It means that an arrest doesn’t equal to conviction. An arrest isn’t based on conviction, but the principle of probable cause. The arresting officers are reasonable individuals who know how to determine whether a person is the probable perpetrator of a criminal act. However, the guilty status still can’t be established, until it’s proven in the court.
The arrest is made to ensure that the investigation can be performed smoothly and evidences can be gathered to come up with a conviction that is closest to the truth and if possible, that is the truth. However, there is always a possibility that the arresting officers err on the side of apprehending a probable perpetrator, because the original criminal has long been gone and an unwitting witness can be caught instead. Because, such incidence has happened repeatedly, it is important to ensure that defendant obtain the best legal counsels to ensure that he is protected during the court proceeding. When the suspect is actually innocent, lawyers can emphasize on the lack of or conflicting evidences to ensure that their defendant can be found not guilty.
It is important to ensure that everyone carefully, fairly and fully assess all the evidences that may lead to the truth. Without an arrest, the bad guys will get away before the investigation is concluded, but quick arrest could also mean that innocent bystanders can be apprehended instead. But, what if everyone knows that the defendant is guilty and the evidence is overwhelmingly support that. When it is obvious that the defendant is guilty, then there’s nothing that the lawyer can do to ensure that defendant can be found not guilty. In this case, it is important to ensure that the sentence is rational. As an example, the punishment can be too severe compared to the criminal act that was made. As an example, shoplifting may only be punished with community service, instead of serving a sentence of one year in prison.
Rational sentencing is an important goal that the defending team needs to achieve when guilty conviction is inevitable. It can be quite difficult for lawyers to ensure that the sentence is appropriate for the crime. As an example, first time offenders should have less severe sentence, compared to people who repeatedly perform criminal acts. Lawyers should also determine whether the evidence is strong enough to warrant a severe punishment. The lawyer should also ensure that the sentence isn’t too severe, just because other people in the court simply have the grudge against the defendant. Justice should be upheld in the courtroom and that it includes ensuring that the defendant receives a proper sentence.