Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:19 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Scotusnerd wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:In part because they're not trials, they're oral arguments. :wink:


Yeah that would be a part of it. :lol: I think it's funny to see trial lawyers try their hand at appellate work. Most of them are fish out of water.

I've only seen one, and the lawyer was awful and insanely rude.

Most oral arguments are awful. At least, at the state level (the federal ones I've seen have been better - probably because in my state you basically get oral arguments if you request them, whereas I think the Circuit courts are much stricter about who gets to take up their time). Though, yeah, the ones who specialize in appellate are better.

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scifiguy
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby scifiguy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:33 pm

kalvano wrote:Civil suit people are way crazier than criminals. Criminals just tend to be poor and dumb, for the most part. People suing Pepsi for supporting extraterrestrial colonization are the truly nutty.


I don't know, kalvano. Maybe a civil suit person is a little nutty, but I don't know if that can compare to violent criminals.

Some people are just psychopaths. Locally where I am from, there were a lot of gang arrests the past few years and some of these people are just ruthless. They'd burn you with a hot iron, randomly attack and beat someone to earn stripes in a gang, shoot you or shoot at you for some of the dumbest things like a perceived slight.

If you Google MS-13 or the Bloods, you'll see a very violent gang history. Poverty is not an excuse (not saying that you said it was). Many of these guys just have no regard for human life.

But, on top of that, if you just turn on the news each night where I'm from there's nearly always some violent crime that took place...some armed robbery, a mob beating, a stabbing at a club, etc.

I can't speak for others, but I think I might prefer civil matters over these types of cases.

duncanmn95
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby duncanmn95 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:58 pm

Danger Zone wrote:HOLY FUCKING SHIT SCI FI I WILL LITERALLY POKE OUT YOUR EYES WITH RUSTY NAILS AND SKULL FUCK YOU UNTIL GREY MATTER OOZES OUT OF YOUR NOSTRILS IF YOU MAKE ANOTHER FUCKING USELESS THREAD JESUS TAP DANCING CHRIST


obviously the most #helpful response so far

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kalvano
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby kalvano » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:51 am

Dude, I'm from Dallas. Not saying it's hardcore awful, but we led the nation in murders for a while. Criminals are 99% dumbshits who just don't know any better. They aren't truly crazy.

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scifiguy
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby scifiguy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:26 am

kalvano wrote:Dude, I'm from Dallas. Not saying it's hardcore awful, but we led the nation in murders for a while. Criminals are 99% dumbshits who just don't know any better. They aren't truly crazy.


I think crazy and dumb are maybe the wrong words that describe what I'm getting at that would turn me off.

I don't mind working with less educated or intelligent people. My own father is very uneducated and I can understand their different background and try to do my best to communicate in a way that they can relate to (and try to understand them from their perspective). It can take patience and time dwelling on another person's background before greater understanding is attained. But I don't mind that.

And I also don't think I'd find it a problem if a person is literally mentally insane. They wouldn't be in control of their actions/thoughts and need help.

But the malicious, ruthless, brutal, uncaring, cold at heart, sick/perverse type of person is one that would bother me. You hear of gangbangers burning people with hot irons, slashing their faces open randomly on the street to gain gang stripes, sick-minded people brutally raping a woman in front of her husband or child, ...things of that nature.

Those are the types that would maybe bother me. :? Someone like that must be very sick/perverse and cold at heart. To do those things and not be able to sense another person's pain or feelings....I think you'd have to be extremely cold in your heart. Like a monster.

I don't know how someone can harm another living human being and rationalize that away in their brains. Perhaps these people were never loved as a child themselves ...but I'm not sure that explains it away. You may just have someone with low self-steem in that case?? ...What causes a person to just not care whatsoever for another human life? Is that a choice they ultimately make from many smaller choices of the heart? Like little choices here and there that are cold. And then ultimately a wall of coldness has been built up to the point where they don't view others with any respect or love anymore and can do these heinous things to people?

....Sorry for going so deep into this. Just free flowing typing.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Scotusnerd » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:44 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Most oral arguments are awful. At least, at the state level (the federal ones I've seen have been better - probably because in my state you basically get oral arguments if you request them, whereas I think the Circuit courts are much stricter about who gets to take up their time). Though, yeah, the ones who specialize in appellate are better.


I've found that the experienced advocates around here are superb. Oral arguments are generally required, but the lawyers will not waste time with frivolous bullshit. If their argument takes three minutes, they will only take three minutes. The judges know the material, the lawyers know the material, and it's generally quite interesting.

That said, the unexperienced ones... :shock:

Well, I learned quickly that you never concede anything without knowing precisely what you were conceding.

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Ixiion
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Ixiion » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:59 am

scifiguy wrote:tekrul - I feel the war on drugs is in that category of overboard prosecution.

We read http://www.amazon.com/The-Rich-Richer-P ... 0205305571 The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison in my sociology class this semester. Here's the Amazon description:

I do think we over-prosecute some crimes that can mess people's lives up in the U.S.

I think rather than going after and incarcerating so heavily these "smaller crimes" (which could use something like community service, rehab, boot camp, etc. to remedy), that we should shift those resources to better policing in really bad areas against the major crimes, such as rape, murder, gun violence, etc. It doesn't make sense to lock someone up for doing drugs and having tax-payers fork over something like $35K a year to warehouse them when that money could go to better policing against major violent crimes and/or community programs.

I think the U.S. is #1 in teh world in incarceration rates.


Do you go to college in NY?

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jtabustos
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby jtabustos » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:48 am

In CA, I think it's closer to $50K to warehouse a criminal in prison.

I've heard an argument that if you have to pay $40K or so to keep these low-level criminals locked up for years, then why not just GIVE them $30K (in welfare...or other benefits) to live off of and save $10K/year. THey may not become a criminal anymore and we'd save the difference.

I think Europe and Canada have a much lower crime arate and they have a better social safety net for people.

A lot of the low-level criminals in the U.S. grew up poor and ended up drug dealing for the money to survive at first and then it may have grown into greed or gang violence or what not later.

CA has a lot of gang problems. Some neighborhoods are just ocmpletely infested with gangs.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Scotusnerd » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:14 pm

jtabustos wrote:In CA, I think it's closer to $50K to warehouse a criminal in prison.

I've heard an argument that if you have to pay $40K or so to keep these low-level criminals locked up for years, then why not just GIVE them $30K (in welfare...or other benefits) to live off of and save $10K/year. THey may not become a criminal anymore and we'd save the difference.


I think if you gave someone 40k for committing a crime, you'd have a hell of a lot more criminals out there.

Or I'd start calling you a mafia boss.

Fish127
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Fish127 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:31 pm

My cousin worked in criminal defense for a little while. She didn't like having to spend a lot of time in bad neighborhoods interviewing people and such.

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Ded Precedent
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Ded Precedent » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:52 pm

I've worked in a non-attorney capacity at the public defender's for a few years and now interning as a summer 1L and I've seen quite a bit of violence against the attorneys. A lot of criminals are too dumb to realize you're there to help them and they come up with these crazy theories that you're out to get them in some way. I've heard plenty of stories of public defender's getting cussed out by clients or getting attacked by them. The first time I visited the jail the first thing the attorney taught me was to make sure to place the table in between myself and the inmate and to always sit on the side of the panic button, if possible, close enough that my unconscious body would trigger it in the event I get knocked the fuck out.

I've never really felt intimidated by clients though, most of them are polite enough and you can de-escalate those that try to get all hyphy on you. I definitely have the most difficulty dealing with pedophiles and rapists. The first trial I sat through and heard victim testimony I turned white and honestly though I was going to throw up. I think I'll be able to get used to it by the time I have to represent those types in trial but I can understand people who avoid criminal law because dealing with scumbags day in and day out can become tiresome.

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stillwater
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:25 am

Danger Zone wrote:HOLY FUCKING SHIT SCI FI I WILL LITERALLY POKE OUT YOUR EYES WITH RUSTY NAILS AND SKULL FUCK YOU UNTIL GREY MATTER OOZES OUT OF YOUR NOSTRILS IF YOU MAKE ANOTHER FUCKING USELESS THREAD JESUS TAP DANCING CHRIST


your sweet poetry didn't go unnoticed.

bdm261
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby bdm261 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:02 am

I have a relative who's a criminal defense attorney and I interviewed him for a project in my "careers" class during high school. He takes a lot of higher-profile cases: gang murders, murder-for-hire, and other heinous crimes. He's never really run into a "Cape Fear" scenario or felt like he was in any danger. For the most part, the guys he defends know he's on their side so they usually don't direct any threats or violence his way. He did say he was threatened by a guy once but that was it and he didn't really elaborate.

JJ123
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby JJ123 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:59 am

I don't know about the gang stuff, but most criminals are just idiots. Incredibly stupid.

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scifiguy
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby scifiguy » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:58 pm

JJ123 wrote:I don't know about the gang stuff, but most criminals are just idiots. Incredibly stupid.



Have heard to "stupid" comments from a few of you guys. Could you guys give examples of the average stupid criminal you'll encounter?

In my area (a relatively big city that's not NYC or LA), we do have a good deal of gang activity. And the crimes commited are pretty gruesome or brutal sometimes. It could be different by city maybe? My cousins live in a smaller town and I'm not sure if they have many organized gangs there. So they get more of the lone criminal type (...e.g., the guy who wears a batman mask and tries to rob a bank with a banana, the woman who tries to poison her husband for the life insurance, the woman who is a teacher and caught serving as a prostitute as a night job, etc. ...those types of stories).

I feel that a criminal may be less smart possibly on average than non-criminals (or maybe they just get caught and found guilty more than smarter criminals), but it wouldn't justify their bad behavior still. If you stab someone or try to rip someone off, it doesn't matter if you're smart or dumb. It's a moral issue.

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Bronte
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Bronte » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:32 pm

scifiguy wrote:Have heard to "stupid" comments from a few of you guys. Could you guys give examples of the average stupid criminal you'll encounter?

In my area (a relatively big city that's not NYC or LA), we do have a good deal of gang activity. And the crimes commited are pretty gruesome or brutal sometimes. It could be different by city maybe? My cousins live in a smaller town and I'm not sure if they have many organized gangs there. So they get more of the lone criminal type (...e.g., the guy who wears a batman mask and tries to rob a bank with a banana, the woman who tries to poison her husband for the life insurance, the woman who is a teacher and caught serving as a prostitute as a night job, etc. ...those types of stories).

I feel that a criminal may be less smart possibly on average than non-criminals (or maybe they just get caught and found guilty more than smarter criminals), but it wouldn't justify their bad behavior still. If you stab someone or try to rip someone off, it doesn't matter if you're smart or dumb. It's a moral issue.


I hear what you're saying. A lot of crimes, especially crimes involving gun violence and drug trafficking, are not stupid but rather ruthless, organized, and profit-motivated. But probably the preponderance of criminals that end up being charged are street-level drug users, petty thieves, and the like that are pretty dumb and are not members of any serious organization. The very nature of organized crime is that it is relatively effective in thwarting prosecution of the higher-level players.

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scifiguy
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby scifiguy » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:55 am

Scotusnerd wrote:
jtabustos wrote:In CA, I think it's closer to $50K to warehouse a criminal in prison.

I've heard an argument that if you have to pay $40K or so to keep these low-level criminals locked up for years, then why not just GIVE them $30K (in welfare...or other benefits) to live off of and save $10K/year. THey may not become a criminal anymore and we'd save the difference.


I think if you gave someone 40k for committing a crime, you'd have a hell of a lot more criminals out there.

Or I'd start calling you a mafia boss.



He probably means before they become criminals. .....like in welfare.

This is not a bad argument. Europe does seem to have lower crime, a less hectic work life, and better social welfare benefits.

But their production isn't as high as the U.S. We create more stuff and Europeans benefit from our technology (e.g. medical technologies).

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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:19 am

scifiguy wrote:
Scotusnerd wrote:
jtabustos wrote:In CA, I think it's closer to $50K to warehouse a criminal in prison.

I've heard an argument that if you have to pay $40K or so to keep these low-level criminals locked up for years, then why not just GIVE them $30K (in welfare...or other benefits) to live off of and save $10K/year. THey may not become a criminal anymore and we'd save the difference.


I think if you gave someone 40k for committing a crime, you'd have a hell of a lot more criminals out there.

Or I'd start calling you a mafia boss.



He probably means before they become criminals. .....like in welfare.

This is not a bad argument. Europe does seem to have lower crime, a less hectic work life, and better social welfare benefits.

But their production isn't as high as the U.S. We create more stuff and Europeans benefit from our technology (e.g. medical technologies).


All of your responses have a very "this one time at band camp" quality about them. Between your knowledge of movies, Wikipedia, and the gangs in your town, I'm not sure you wouldn't be better off skipping law school entirely and writing The Definitive Guide to Everything.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Scotusnerd » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:28 am

scifiguy wrote:He probably means before they become criminals. .....like in welfare.

This is not a bad argument. Europe does seem to have lower crime, a less hectic work life, and better social welfare benefits.

But their production isn't as high as the U.S. We create more stuff and Europeans benefit from our technology (e.g. medical technologies).



I appreciate the argument, but come back after you work in the system for a bit and get to meet these people. Read a few juvenile LWOP sentencing hearings. See a couple trials, work on some appeals, whatever.

You'll see why a lot of these people are locked up, no matter which side of the equation you're on.

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LexLeon
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby LexLeon » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:25 pm

Anyone read My Beloved World?

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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Stinson » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:49 pm

scifiguy wrote:
JJ123 wrote:I don't know about the gang stuff, but most criminals are just idiots. Incredibly stupid.



Have heard to "stupid" comments from a few of you guys. Could you guys give examples of the average stupid criminal you'll encounter?

In my area (a relatively big city that's not NYC or LA), we do have a good deal of gang activity. And the crimes commited are pretty gruesome or brutal sometimes. It could be different by city maybe? My cousins live in a smaller town and I'm not sure if they have many organized gangs there. So they get more of the lone criminal type (...e.g., the guy who wears a batman mask and tries to rob a bank with a banana, the woman who tries to poison her husband for the life insurance, the woman who is a teacher and caught serving as a prostitute as a night job, etc. ...those types of stories).

I feel that a criminal may be less smart possibly on average than non-criminals (or maybe they just get caught and found guilty more than smarter criminals), but it wouldn't justify their bad behavior still. If you stab someone or try to rip someone off, it doesn't matter if you're smart or dumb. It's a moral issue.


Some criminals are stupid, others are bad/crazy people. The only nuance I would add to that is the substantial class of people who are neither, but are nonetheless criminals.

When I was in law school, my professional responsibility course was taught by an AUSA. For one class he brought in a drug dealer (drug distributor, I guess) he'd prosecuted and convicted, who spoke to us about drug dealing. The guy wasn't stupid - he owns his own small business now painting houses, and was apparently pretty good at drug dealing - but nor was he what I would call a bad guy. He grew up in shit, had no education or opportunities whatsoever to speak of, and did the rational thing from where he was standing. Drug dealers made money. Lots of it, really fast. They were basically the only people in the community who were successful at anything. It was that or try to get one of a vanishingly small number of minimum wage jobs where he lived, or try to live on government benefits. He did the logical thing.

That doesn't mean he isn't morally wrong, or that we shouldn't punish him, or that he mightn't have just moved away and tried something else to better himself. (He actually went to college while he was drug dealing, paid for with drug money. His life was a but like the Wire.) But we should realize that most humans - including and sometimes especially poor ones - are rational beings. If formal economic avenues are closed to them, they will pursue the informal ones, discounted by the possibility and consequences of getting caught. Others are not rational and just want to be bad or don't care, and still others are crazy. Subtle but important differences.

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scifiguy
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby scifiguy » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:56 pm

^^^intriguing story.

Education has traditionally been a way out of poverty in the post-WWII era in the United States. But that avenue is much more complicated for African Americans than it is for other groups.

As for the immorality of drug dealing, I wonder whether the drug dealers ever thought about or felt guilty over the people they were harming? Drugs destroy your body. Always made me wonder about these dealers' perspective. I'm sure many of them would have seen the effects on some of the people they sold to.

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elterrible78
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby elterrible78 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:47 pm

scifiguy wrote:^^^intriguing story.

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Bronte
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby Bronte » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:53 pm

scifiguy wrote:^^^intriguing story.

Education has traditionally been a way out of poverty in the post-WWII era in the United States. But that avenue is much more complicated for African Americans than it is for other groups.

As for the immorality of drug dealing, I wonder whether the drug dealers ever thought about or felt guilty over the people they were harming? Drugs destroy your body. Always made me wonder about these dealers' perspective. I'm sure many of them would have seen the effects on some of the people they sold to.


Alcohol is one of the harder drugs. It destroys your body. But it's legal, and we don't usually or at least as emphatically condemn distillers or grocery store owners. Of course, seling cocaine and heroin is more blameworthy for a number of reasons: the buyers are more vulnerable, democratic society has chosen to make it illegal, and the drugs are more (but not way more) unhealthy. Still, it's not hard to imagine thinking, or even that hard to agree, that selling drugs or alcohol or cigarettes is not wrong because your "victims" are indulging more or less by choice.

I realize I'm getting into trolls-assemble territory here, but I'm just offering the argument.

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dr123
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Re: Is Criminal Law Dangerous and/or Unpleasant?

Postby dr123 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:58 pm

my anecdata suggests your more likely to be killed/harmed by a divorce/custody client as opposed to criminal.




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