You are the defense attorney for a soldier...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #1
    ...who comes back from tour in Iraq, is given certain pain killers for injuries, but gets addicted and holds up Pharmacies for those drugs later on.

    How would you build your case as defense attorney? (We all have cases for the prosecution I am sure, but that can be a different thread, so let's see what defenses can be brought up).

    What points would you bring up as his/her attorney?

    Discuss.
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    I couldn't even think of where to begin with this. It's kind of difficult. It's hard to justify robbery.
     
  3. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #3
    It's hard to justify any of the major felonies, but defense attorneys have to do it everyday with Burglary, Battery, Assault, Arson, Robbery, Rape, and Kidnapping, as well as all the homicide charges of Murder and Manslaughter.

    Currently, a similar case is on the docket with the defense being post traumatic stress disorder.
     
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #4
    I agree. Just pay for the medication. I know that's not the best advice considering it costs money, but still there is no way to justify robbery.
     
  5. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #5
    What if you are the defense attorney, working for your county, and your boss hands you this case. You have a week to view and prepare for this case, among many, many others on your desk.

    How do you prepare?

    Let's say for argument's sake it's your job and you have two choices: 1) work the case and your job title as public defender, or 2) quit and do something else.

    Or better yet, let's say you are JAG and your superior officer hands you this case as defense attorney, in a job you just can't walk out on. It's a direct order. :)
     
  6. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #6
    I could not justify stealing or defend it. I would probably not be a good defense attorney. I guess the best I would be able to do for someone is to make sure they received due process, and were not unfairly treated by the system.

    To actually defend stealing, even with "mitigating circumstances" would be strange in the very least. I know people do this on a daily basis but none the less.
     
  7. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #7
    I have no clue where to start. That's why I'm not a defense attorney, I'm a computer programmer.

    I still don't care why he robbed the place, I think it's wrong. To think that he could get off because of an excuse like traumatic stress would make me angry if I was the store owner.

    I wouldn't take the case... unless you have to.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    Yeah- that's probably what I would do too. I would have an extremely difficult time with this.
     
  9. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    #9
    I have been out of poli sci classes for to long to even remember where to begin. It is a good question though from a theory stand point. Are you asking the MR group to help you write your paper? ;)
     
  10. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #10
    I have actually been hitting forums all over the internet seeing what non law students would say to prepare for law school midterms. We are not crafting our answer for the teachers, or for other students. Our essay answers have to be largely devoid of legal/latin terms and be able to be understood by anybody out there in the real world. Grammar has to be no further than the 8th grade. I worked for the California Bar and that's how they grade the Bar.

    Luckily two of my profs are former Cal Bar graders, so I have to get a feel of what the public at large feels makes sense. If I walk into a courtroom and argue to a jury, they will not be judges, lawyers, or cops. They are going to be everyday people, most likely peers of the felons, and in my county, most often people who did not finish high school.

    Sure, you have felons committing robbery or larceny in order to get money for meth, but they are likely to be of an average 8th grade education, and more often than not, not from the United States. The jury will be most closely reflective of the person being charged, as peers.

    One has to craft a defense, or prosecution, in terms that make sense to that jury, in a concise fashion due to limited time and with no crash courses in civil procedure or Latin. Under these circumstances, one has to work where they live and understand the culture of that county, and all circumstances.

    This question, is actually very similar to a second part of a California Bar Exam question. The first part would ask you to show the prosecution's side and what crime was committed after showing a very short fact pattern off a police report. After weighing both sides gracefully, then you come to a "likely" verdict without making any statements that are considered too bold. Do that and you fail that Bar question. :)
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    Now I know why I'm not a lawyer. :)
     
  12. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #12
    Actually, I have no ideas of being a lawyer, especially from what I have learned in school and from burnt out lawyers telling us horror stories, but my studies are directed to just protecting my own skateboard business, which is a target for lawyers, as you can imagine. :)
     
  13. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #13
    You are suppose to act as a communication channel for the defendant so that they can express themselves as if they had a law degree and knew the laws in question. Therefore it is important to understand why the person committed the crime.

    It would be quite easy to stick a post traumatic stress disorder on there. But it would also prudent to review the medial procedure and if the guidelines for prescribing medication and such were followed. If it was found that these guidelines were not followed it could lead to a conclusion that the solider in question did not receive the proper medical safe guards to prevent addiction. Add to that the post traumatic stress it would be a reasonable case. That is of course assuming that some medical lines could be followed.

    If due care was taken by the medical doctor research into the drug and the addictivness of it would help strength the case.

    Then again I am no lawyer and have never done any law course. But if I got this job (for some bizarre reason) that is what I would do.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    Oh yeah, I can only imagine. I'm sure it's quite the target for opportunists.
     
  15. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #15
    A soldier, suffering from PTSD (or, so we can say), and addicted to painkillers (through no fault of his own, because he was wounded in war and was legally prescribed these drugs), robs a pharmacy for the drugs he needs (well, at least he thinks so).

    This case can practically defend itself; no jury is going to lockup a soldier for robbery, when they ultimately feel it wasn't his fault. He'll get off with drug rehabilitation and psychological visits.
     
  16. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I'd probably argue that the soldier had PTSD which cause a temporary "insanity" like stage when he was committing the robberies. Like you said, I think the only defense is PTSD. I suppose I'd probably try to get some sort of deal worked out with the prosecution in light of his excellent military service to push for psychiatric treatment instead of prison.
     
  17. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    #17
    I think I'd attack it as the government not providing adequate care to its veterans.
     
  18. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

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    #18
    I would blame the army doctors for giving the patient an addictive medicine which he would become dependent on, attack the government for not taking care of their veterans financially so they can make purchases, and finally post traumatic stress causing the individual to act irrationally and irresponsibly while not in a good state of mind.

    I dont condone stealing in any way but i am just answering the question the way the OP posed it, if i was a defense lawyer and this case was handed to me. :cool:
     
  19. Sesshi macrumors G3

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    #19
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminished_responsibility

    Assuming there is no defensible doubt that he was the perpetrator of course.
     
  20. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    I'd ask the defendant to try on the leather glove that was supposedly used in the crime.
     
  21. ibook30 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Nice! I think this has worked before,,,

    I'd argue the defendants diminished responsibility due to the poor medical care offered by the military (use of an addictive drug when less addictive substitutes should have been available). Additionally his PTSD was caused by his service to the country. So - if this guy had not served, he would not have stolen.

    Then look at his background and how he ended up joining the military, was he aggressively pursued by a recruiter?

    When he was injured, was it due to regular combat activity or was a superior negligent?

    I would look to tell a story of a person who has been given a bad break at every turn. Point out every instance he was let down by the military, to push the idea that if he had not been in the military, his circumstances would have been different (I'd also hope he/she did not have a criminal record before joining the service!).

    Not that these arguments make it OK to steal or continue to use destructive drugs, just an insteresting line of thought.
     
  22. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #22
    Thanks for all the great responses. I thought of PTSD and the duty of the VA for the soldier with any addictive drugs given to him. Negligence could fit pinning it on the VA with Duty/Breach/Causation/Damages and I could try and tie this in. I considered diminished capacity but did not look into diminished responsibility. Thanks for the tips. These are great suggestions. Crim law test on Thursday, Contracts test tonight. Yeeech! :)
     
  23. Vivid.Inferno macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Thats exactly what I was thinking. PTSD would be a good defense. But arguing that the government didn't provide for a veteran in need would be the best bet.
     
  24. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #24
    Tell the professor to roll that paper up, shine it up real good, turn it sideways and stick it up his candy ass!

    </The Rock>
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #25
    Soldiers' conduct in every war, and especially illegal wars, is predicated on a suspension of most if not all normal restraints on civil interaction. Theft, robbery, mass murder, rape, assault, grievous bodily harm, arson, criminal damage, physical abuse, any number of normally actionable offences against the state, against private property and against the person are routinely carried out and routinely excused. To expect a soldier subjected to such an upending of "normal" process and "normal" values to automatically readjust to acceptable behaviours at the drop of a hat, especially without a comprehensive support network, is insanity. The waging of wars sows the wind.
     

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