Criminal Justice

Loughner's Lawyer

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The New York Times' William Glaberson profiles Judy Clarke, the public defender who is representing alleged Tucson shooter Jared Loughner:

Ms. Clarke has helped a number of infamous defendants avoid death sentences, including Theodore J. Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Eric Robert Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympics bomber; and Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her toddlers.

Over a legal career of more than 30 years, Ms. Clarke has become perhaps the best-known federal public defender in the country, with a reputation for taking on cases that seem impossible.

Read the rest here.

NEXT: 3rd-Ranking Dem: Post-Loughner, Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine

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  1. I read this yesterday. I say yay for her. The adversarial system only works with competent and zealous defense attorneys, even for the worst scum. Note the childish hissy fit the S. Carolina legislature threw in response to her taking the Smith case and her classy comeback.

  2. the Atlanta Olympics bomber

    Didn’t he turn out to be innocent, after getting smeared?

    1. I think you are thinking of the original named “person of interest.”

      1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..implicated

        Yes, here it is. Rudolph was also the abortion clinic bomber.

        1. Did she defend Jewell or Rudolph? Either one is impressive; one guy was innocent and the other a total scumbag.

          1. It says right in the quote from TFA that it was Rudolph she defended.

            IIRC Jewell was never charged. Just interrogated, harassed and slandered.

            1. IIRC, he sued, and got a decent settlement.

              1. Too bad he can’t use it now that he’s dead.

            2. Hero or bomber–you make the call!

    2. You’re thinking of the security guard they first accused. It later turned out that Eric Rudolph was the guy who actually did do it.

    3. Rudolph was the real bomber. The security guy who found the bomb was the one who smeared. Of course, he was really a hero who saved who knows how many lives.

  3. I wonder if she would defend the Joker. She should at least try to get a change of venue to Metropolis, not Gotham jury is going to give that guy a fair trial…

    1. He’s just a dog chasing cars, MNG…

    2. I think she resides in the Marvel universe, so no to the Joker, but yes to the Red Skull.

  4. I do not begrudge Clarke. Even the scum of the Earth deserve a defense in court. I would not want the job but I also would not want to be a garbage collector. I have nothing against garbage collectors either.

    1. I talked to federal public defender who defended a guy accused of sending fake anthrax to abortion clinics. Like most PD’s, he’s fairly liberal and believes that a strong defense is the cornerstone of justice, blah, blah, blah.

      Anyway, he was pretty disturbed because all the other federal public defenders refused to take the anti-abortion guy’s case on grounds that they were personally conflicted. Federal PD’s do child porn and molestaion, kidnapping, racekteering, etc. type cases all the time. But sending fake anthrax to an abortion clinic was where they drew the line.

      1. “on grounds that they were personally conflicted”

        Interesting. For them having an opposion to kidnapping is not a personaly conflicting as having support for abortion …

        This speaks volumes.

  5. Saturday evening, after it happened, I went out for a beer. It amazes me (I’m not sure why) the number of ordinarily rational, and even extremely liberal, people who say shit like, “They should have just put him down like a dog, right on the spot.”

    It’s pretty unlikely the government will have much difficulty making a case against the guy; the real question is what will happen to him. I’m having a hard time believing he needs to either go to the gas chamber (is there a federal death penalty? I don’t even know.) or even Supermax.

    Hinckley seems like the probable template, but considering how many people think Assange should be rubbed out, it’s anybody’s guess.

    1. “They should have just put him down like a dog, right on the spot.”

      When a child is killed people who are normally soft on crime become tough on crime. It is human instinct to be protective of children. Any species that is not will go the way of the dodo.

      1. There’s certainly a part of me that would like to see him strung up. Of course, there is also a part of me that would have liked to see Vick strung up for what he did to those dogs, but then (unlike Tucker Carlson) there’s a logical, rational side of me that is able to understand that such feelings shouldn’t form the basis for public policy.

        1. execution for animal abuse? ridiculous…

          1. Reading: it’s fundamental!

            1. Given OhioOrrin lack of grammar I feel pretty safe in making the assumption that his reading comprehension isn’t all that great.

              The Jacket is from Ohio, I think he might be meta trolling us!!!

              1. joe, is that you?

              2. ur assumptions remain entertaining!

        2. Clubmed,

          I repost this here because the first time it did not post as a reply. It was supposed to be a reply

          Suppose there is a fair trial first and a jury of 12 fairly rational and intelligent people objectively look at all of the evidence and find that A. He is not insane by any medical defintion of the term. and B. Yes, he did in fact commit the crime (which includes killing an innocent child).

          Would you then say he still does not deserve to die?

          1. Can I advocate instead for whatever makes him suffer the most? Like reinstitution of the Shuttle program?

          2. Would you then say he still does not deserve to die?

            He deserves to die right now. There is no question he committed the violent attack. Kill him. He won’t do it again.

            1. Holy shit, you’re even more of a douche than I thought possible. What gives you the fucking right to kill somebody? Not only are you a bloodthirsty asshole, you’re a retarded statist too. Congratulations.

              1. A non-state killing is statist?

                (forgive my responding to trolls)

      2. Thanks for the explanation. That explains the success of mosquitoes and cockroaches.

        1. I should have specified mammals that have relatively few babies.

          Anyway …

    2. Yes, there is a federal death penalty. We recently had some miscreant facing it in Michigan.
      The nigh infallible Wiki writes –

      Michigan was the first English-speaking government in the world to abolish totally the death penalty for ordinary crimes. The Michigan State Legislature voted to do so on May 18, 1846, and this has remained in law since. Although the death penalty was retained on the books for treason until 1963, Michigan has not executed any person since statehood.

      1. This explains Detroit.

    3. With people like this, I generally take the position that it would not have been a bad thing if someone had shot him on the spot (assuming that there was a safe opportunity to do so), but I agree that death might not be warranted for such a nutter. Of course, I don’t think that the government should be killing anyone, whether it is warranted or not.

      1. This is how I feel as well. It amazes me how easily many “libertarians” throw caution to the wind and insist that the government be in the business of terminating human life.

    4. The lawyer or susan smith?

    5. There is an ever changing assertion as to who society’s last niggers are, but it’s always been clear to me that the mantle will forever be held by the mentally ill.

      1. “Mental illness” is not insanity.If he intended to kill, and knew it was wrong it doesn’t matter how batshit crazy he is.

    6. As there was no question Jared Loughner shot those people I would have no moral qualms with him being lynched on the spot. The only reason to keep him alive would be if there was reason to think it was a conspiracy.

      In anarchotopia what the hell else would you do with somebody like that?

      1. We would rehabilitate him. Every human is sacred. Fuck the State!

  6. Ms. Clarke has helped a number of infamous defendants avoid death sentences, including Theodore J. Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Eric Robert Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympics bomber; and Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her toddlers.

    Good for her.

    1. The lawyer or susan smith?

      That was meant to go here. Nuts.

  7. Somebody has to defend him; might as well be someone who wants the case, not a court assigned real estate attorney from a defense pool.

  8. Totally unrelated tweet of the week:

    @DrSamuelJohnson
    Samuel Johnson

    The Emissaries of China make an ursine Gift unto the Scots, unaware that Pictish Hordes may well deep-fry the poor Panda

    1. If it is the Giant Panda then it is considered Ursine but if it is the Red Panda the prevailing taxonomy says it is Mustelidae (pole cat).

      Just sayin

      1. I shall inform Dr Johnson to modify his dictionary accordingly! 🙂

  9. Suppose there is a fair trial first and a jury of 12 fairly rational and intelligent people objectively look at all of the evidence and find that A. He is not insane by any medical defintion of the term. and B. Yes, he did in fact commit the crime (which includes killing an innocent child).

    Would you then say he still does not deserve to die?

    1. sorry, this was intended as a reply but did not post as one. It was supposed to be a reply to ClubMed

    2. Deserve to die, and having the state do it can be two separate things.

      1. Sure, in an ideal world we would not have a state. Unfortunately, we do not have an ideal world at the moment.

        1. Well yes, I realize this. I don’t think it should be in the state’s purview to make these sort of decisions.

          I can’t come here and point out the incompetence of the government, and then honestly say that they should be given the ultimate power of life and death.

          1. It shouldn’t, correct, it SHOULDN’T. But it DOES. This is the paradigm in which we live. We can both work to change this paradigm. But, within this paradigm, assume you were on this person’s jury. Assume he has already been convicted and you are now in the sentencing phase of the trial. Would you vote for death if you were on his jury [assume you know for a fact he is guilty and not insane in a medical sense of that word].

    3. What is accomplished by executing someone?

      1. A: They are no longer alive.

        1. That’s a bit of a tautology…

      2. Job security for undertakers?

      3. What is accomplished by not executing someone who murdered others?

        1. Seems like you could learn more from the guy if he is alive.

          And there’s always a chance new evidence could come to light. It’s happened a lot with advances in DNA science.

          Also, the state would not be in the business of murdering people.

        2. There’s no good reason to execute somebody, regardless of what they’ve done. Once you have them properly incarcerated they pose no real threat to anybody anymore.

      4. They can never, ever do it again, and we no longer have to pay for their upkeep. Also, they can’t inflame a fan base and sell bad clown paintings from behind bars.

        FTR, I oppose the death penalty.

      5. Ultimately, a reduction in carbon emissions.

    4. Lot’s of people deserve to die.

      I don’t trust the government, especially our legal system, to make the decision. Are you credulous enough to?

      1. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.

      2. Not in the vast majorit of cases. I understand your skepticism. I think that the bar for evidence should be set VERY high. Higher than it now is for the use of the death penalty. In a case such as this however, there are plenty of witnesses.

      3. I don’t trust the government, especially our legal system, to make the decision. Are you credulous enough to?

        Hell no! Who am I to evaluate reality or pass judgment on others?

    5. What L and JsubD said. Deserves to die and government should kill him are two very different things.

  10. When a child is killed people who are normally soft on crime become tough on crime.

    I don’t think those people even knew about the little girl; they were pretty much operating on the assumption some Tea Party Wacko (TM) had bumped off a Democrat.

    1. If that is the case it throws a whole different light on their personality …

  11. Would you then say he still does not deserve to die?

    As for me, I don’t believe the government should be in the revenge-killing business. Even if we’re “sure” we’ve got the right man.

    1. Agreed. As Balko has shown many times “sure” ain’t always such a sure thing.

      1. I agree, but this one is probably as sure as anyone’s going to get.

  12. This seems like an obvious case for an insanity plea…

  13. ‘This bounty hunter is my kind of scum!’

  14. I’m glad to see him get his day in court. If found guilty may his insane ass rot in a cell for the years to come.

  15. It seems like a shame to me that he didn’t killed during the event.

  16. If she embraces the Left’s meme that Sarah Palin made him do it, she will be praised.

  17. Prove to me that Loughner killed those people. Witnesses? So what? People make mistakes. Do you trust The State to try Loughner for his alleged crimes? But The State is made up of people, and people are not infallible. So you can’t ever trust The State, certainly not in a capital murder case like this. The State makes mistakes all the time. What are you, God? If you execute him and he’s really innocent, you can never undo the terrible injustice done to him. Better safe than sorry, I say. The State has no right to kill him. He deserves to live.

    1. u must be an atheist since God obviously has no prob killing people.

      1. Maybe you should get her to kill Loughner?

  18. In a truly just world his defense would consist of his attorney negotiating a not guilty by reason of insanity plea, which would result in his immediate, permanent and irrevocable (barring exonerating evidence) commitment to a facility for the violently, incurably insane.

    As much as *I* think Andrea Yates *deserved* to die, I’m still not comfortable with the DP.

    1. It takes a special kind of woman to be okay with DP.

    2. I don’t like state killing because I don’t like the state, not because I don’t like killing those that deserve to die.There was not one iota of doubt Andrea Yates drowned her kids one-by-one and knew it was wrong.In a civilized stateless society they would have tied cinder blocks to her and thrown her off a bridge. Texas, of all places, failed to kill her for her crimes. She sits in a minimum security “hospital” probably endlessly pitching a Chatty Cathy doll into the bathtub.

      Andrea Yates drowned all five of her children. She started with the youngest boys, and after drowning them in her bathtub, laid them in her bed. She then drowned Mary, who she left floating in the tub. Her oldest son, Noah, came in and asked what was wrong with Mary. Then he ran. However, Andrea soon caught up with him, and held him under the water next to Mary’s body until he was dead. She then left him floating in the tub and laid Mary in the arms of her brothers. Afterwards, she called the police. Then she called her husband, saying and repeating only two words: “It’s time.”

      Yates confessed to drowning her children. She told Dr. Michael Welner that she waited for her husband to leave for work that morning before filling the bathtub because she knew he would have prevented her from harming the children. After the killings, police found the family dog locked up; Russell Yates advised Welner that the dog had normally been allowed to run free, and was free when he had left the house that morning, leading the psychiatrist to conclude that Andrea locked the dog in a cage to prevent the dog from interfering with her killing the children one by one.

  19. Get a load of this asshole…

    Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Monday that he couldn’t comment specifically on Loughner’s upbringing or mental health, but he noted that his was a “somewhat dysfunctional family.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/jared…..d=12587114

    Is it SOP for law enforcement to offer commentary like this during an ongoing investigation? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before. If I was in the position that Laughner’s parents are right now I’d be lawyering up.

  20. I know it wasn’t murder-murder. I think it was something else, but I don’t believe it was murder-murder.

  21. At this point, I am starting to feel sorry for Jared Loughner.

    This is a sick man who needs treatment, not an execution or life in prison.

    1. An interesting philosophical question is this : Where should one draw the line between ethically culpable for a crime and committing that same crime because of a mental illness? Suppose he had committed the same crime but his motivation had been jealousy or envy? Is bigotry itself a form of mental illness? If so, should every member of the KKK be sympathized with and sent to a mental health facility forthwith?

      1. Assuming Loughner is schizophrenic, the operative questions should be: “Is schizophrenia a mental illness?”

    2. This is a sick man who needs treatment, not an execution or life in prison.

      Who the fuck cares what Loughner “needs”? A few days ago he “needed” to kill as many people as he could.

      Even under our lame system he ain’t beating this rap. “Mental illness” is not insanity. He had intent and knew what he was doing was wrong.Loughner himself called it an assassination.

      1. You clearly havn’t interacted with many schizophrenics before.

        I have. I’m fairly confident this guy has it, and if you know much about it, you’ll know that whatever was going on in his mind was so far removed from reality that it’s absurd to say that he “knew what he was doing”.

        Schizophrenics don’t “know” anything about the reality that we know. What they “know” is an alternate one that none of us would be able to comprehend.

        Besides the fact that if he was on medication, he might be a perfectly normal person able to understand what he did and feel remorse for it.

        1. Insanity is a legal term. The burden of proof is wholly on the defense.Like I said it doesn’t matter if Loughner is batshit crazy and meets the billing criteria for the whole DSM. If a jury thinks he knew he was killing and that it is wrong he is getting the needle. Loughner bought the gun, planned the crime and referred to it as an assassination. A FED public defender and a few quack headshrinkers aren’t going to save his murdering ass. The state can’t kill retards anymore but crazy is still OK.

          1. My point isn’t whether he WILL hang. It’s whether he should.

            I think he’s so off his bonkers that nothing he says or writes is relevant. I think he was so disconnected from reality that he no longer was able to recognize the real world as “real”.

            This guy is sick, and it’s rather sad to me, that we live in a society where schizophrenics end up in prison instead of getting the treatment they need.

    3. Sick? Yes. Treatment? Sure, whatever, but don’t confuse treatment with curability or able to be returned to society. Honestly, lifetime incarceration in a mental hospital is the best for cases like this, and honestly despite all the trappings of medicine these facilities are ideally (though not always in practice) kinder, gentler prisons.

      1. I agree. I’d recommend involuntary commitment to a mental institution, some years of therapy and treatment, followed by lifelong periodic monitoring to make sure he’s taking his medication.

  22. The greatest irony is that, according to the article, Judy Clarke grew up in a conservative Republican home here in NC. She grew up with all of that “conservative rhetoric” and is a compassionate public defender who views these highly disturbed people in the context of their troubled lives.

    Shouldn’t she, too, be out shooting people, according to the “logic” of some?

  23. Clarke has become perhaps the best-known federal public defender in the country

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