I am a public defender/defense lawyer. I am the guardian of the presumption of innocence, due process, and fair trial. To me is entrusted the preservation of those sacred principles. I will promulgate them with courtesy and respect,but not with obsequiousness and not with fear.
For I am partisan; I am counsel for the defense. Let none who oppose me forget that with every fibre of my being I will fight for my clients. My clients are the indigent accused. They are the lonely, the friendless. There is no one to speak for them but me. My voice will be raised in their defense. I will resolve all doubt in their favor. This will be my credo: this and the Golden Rule. I will seek acclaim and approval only from my own conscience. And if upon my death there are a few lonely people who have benefited, my efforts will not have been in vain.
— James Doherty, 1957
America’s prisons are failing. Here’s how to make them work