Commentary

On campaigning against the death penalty and representing clients

Somebody challenged me to put my practice where my mouth is, and defend pro bono the person accused of raping a 4-month old child in Carcar City.

Somebody missed the point. Seriously, I could not believe that the argument went from my “Passing the death penalty has not been shown to reduce significantly heinous crimes like this” to “If you really believe that the accused is innocent defend him.”

I had no opinion about the accused’s innocence. My point was the futility of the death penalty. But since somebody was so insistent, I’ve read everything available about him and the circumstances of his arrest, and it seems to me he is a fall guy.

I am a person who seldom withdraws from a challenge, unless you’re a married woman out to take my virginity. Still, the rules of legal ethics are rules: lawyers cannot offer their services without being approached first.* So, it’s not really that I am kakak and won’t defend that accused, it’s just that I cannot offer my services to him without him (or anyone acting on his behalf approaching me.

P.S. Malign me some more and I’ll sue you for one peso.

* Opinion of my lawyer. She thinks it would be construed as an advertisement, which is not allowed under the rules.

Note: An earlier version of this post identified the baby as “4-year” instead of “4-month”. We apologize for the mistake.

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