A certain type of client

Amongst my clients, a sense of morality and a code of ethical behavior manifest themselves. I would never have predicted it, but it occurs again and again, and each time maintains an impressive internal consistency, even when it is contradicted by the evidence.
For instance, take what I will call the casually violent man. He gets in fights in bars, settles disputes amongst his peers with his fists, and generally lives a very physical existence. But he doesn’t do drugs. “Look at my record, Mr. Miller, look at my record.” He’ll repeat himself, thus making his truth self-evident. “I don’t do drugs.” “I get into fights, but I’m no drug dealer!”
This scenario plays itself out over and over again. “I’m not a violent person, I just like to steal things.” “I am a drug dealer, not a thief.” Each time, I run up against this personal, internally consistent sense of morality with clients. No matter how serious the offense with which they have been charged, there’s some further crime they would never commit.
Prosecutors find this boundary laughable, and see all criminals as alike, as “Bad Dudes.” But defense attorneys see things differently. For me at least, this sense of right and wrong, even among the most hardened offenders, gives me hope. It isn’t much, but I’ll take it.

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