Systemic apathy and the attorney’s charge

Apathy is the predominate risk with judicial venues where the majority of defendants are guilty of what is alleged against them, such as criminal court or dependency, neglect and abuse court. This systemic apathy leads to the few truly innocent people who come through those courts to be shuffled along as expeditiously as possible and often being presumed guilty because they are amongst the guilty. The only way to combat this apathy systemically is through proper funding so that mandates can be met and advocates are encouraged to advocate. The only way to combat this apathy individually is through personal integrity. We need both!

For lawyers, this means engaging the political system to adequately fund the systems that handle criminal law and quasi-criminal matters such as dependency, neglect and abuse. It also means practicing law with more than just compliance with ethical rules; it means practicing with personal integrity.

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