Regardless of what they’re accused of, everyone deserves a fair trial. And to guarantee that, they have a right to competent legal counsel.
In their rage that a convicted cop-killer was not executed (due to procedural “errors” at trial: African-Americans were excluded from the jury), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), consisting of officers sworn to uphold the Constitution, apparently forgot that.
So the FOP took it out on the lawyer, or, anyway, on a lawyer loosely associated with the case, though he didn’t argue it in court.
Compare what happened to John Adams — remember him? In 1770, because he believed in the right to counsel, Adams provided successful legal defense to British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre.
It was controversial: Not everyone understood the principle. But John Adams later served as second U.S. president.
For similarly upholding the principle of right to counsel — and because of intense FOP lobbying — Debo Adegbile’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division was defeated by 52 cowardly U.S. senators. For shame.
— Rick Wicks