Lawyers face dilemma when inmates seek death

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by CrimsonWhite, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. CrimsonWhite
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    CrimsonWhite *****istrator Emeritus Supporting Member

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    Interesting piece. I'm glad I don't work on that side of the law.

     
  2. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    I applaud that inmate for doing the right thing!!!! :clap2:

    Wish many more would do likewise :razz:
     
  3. catzmeow
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    catzmeow BANNED

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    I think that an attorney should act in accordance with his/her client's wishes.
     
  4. CrimsonWhite
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    CrimsonWhite *****istrator Emeritus Supporting Member

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    We do, but only if it does not conflict with our own code of ethics. The problem here is this. Is it ethical to allow a defendant to choose to be put to death without going through every possible avenue to get the sentence overturned? It is an attorney's job to protect his client. Sometimes that is in direct conflict with a clients wishes. As it is the case here.
     
  5. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    The client doesn't want to spend a lifetime in prison. I'd say that qualifies as protecting the client.
     
  6. catzmeow
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    I disagree. It depends upon how you define the term "protect." The role of the attorney is to represent the client's RIGHTS within the legal system, not necessarily to be a nanny for the client. If the client wishes to die, isn't it within his rights to make that choice?
     
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  7. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    All the lousy criminal who wants to better the world by dying has to do is fire his lawyer and go pro se.
     
  8. Abelian Sea
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    Abelian Sea o_O

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    Sounds like part of an assisted suicide debate.

    Do people have the right to choose to die? And if they choose to, how should the professionals whose job it is to act in their interests react?
     
  9. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    It's not suicide. the guy was convicted and sentenced to death. Is not appealing the decision tantamount to suicide or just an admission of guilt?
     
  10. CrimsonWhite
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    It is well within his rights to wish to die. The problem is the premise that the attorney would be helping him die. An attorney has an ethical code to fully advocate for his/her client. It is a balance act. If the attorney's in this case do not fully advocate for their client, then they could face repurcussions from the Bar association that issued their license, no matter the clients wishes.

    That said, their is recourse. An attorney can have himself removed from the case if the client doesn't him/her. But as long as the attorney has the case he has to advocate on behalf of his/her client.
     

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