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When Is a Terrorist Better Than a Defense Lawyer?

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Virtually never.  I have my problems with both the ethos and the tactics of defense lawyering as currently practiced, but the majority of defense lawyers are good people trying to do what they view as the right thing.  We just disagree on what "the right thing" means.

Today, however, brought an episode in which it seems that, in one narrow but revealing way, the terrorist came out on top.  Today was the first day of the murder trial of Maj. Nadal Hasan, who gunned down 13 people at Ft. Hood, Texas and seriously wounded many more.  Hasan, who is no lawyer (he is  --  get this  --  a psychologist), is representing himself.

His opening statement did not mince words:  "The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter."  He made no excuses; to the contrary, he seemed to embrace, rather than want to wriggle away from, the murders he committed.

Am I the only one who finds it refreshing to hear, from the defense side, not a boatload of whining or some shake-and-jive junk science about how it was all a product of this newly minted "syndrome" or that, but just straightforward truth-telling?

John Hinderaker at Powerline has an appropriately acid take on the story here.

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