The philosophy at the Law Office of Christopher H. Cessna is summarized by Nationally Syndicated Talk Show Host, Neil Boortz who wrote about the role and duty of the criminal defense attorney in defending their clients:
They tried to have an arraignment for Alejandro Avila yesterday. The public defender obviously wants nothing to do with Avila. They managed to continue the arraignment until August. The public defender’s office will use these weeks to try to convince the judge that he needs to appoint a private prosecutor.
Somewhere there is some unlucky criminal defense attorney who is going to end up with the job of defending this probable child rapist and murder in court. Pity that poor defense attorney, for he shall become a pariah. We’ll probably end up with someone like Bill O’Reilly dragging this poor sap’s name through the mud as evil personified and worthy of nothing less than a brutal whipping.
I submit to you that whoever Avila’s defense attorney turns out to be, he or she should be considered an American hero … a hero because the task of defending criminals in court is one of the most noble callings an attorney can undertake.
Consider the one asset that government has that you do not. Government can use force to accomplish its goals. With the exception of the goal of self-defense, you are not allowed to use force to achieve your goals.
We’ll cut to the chase here. If government wants to seize your property, force can be used. If government wants to deprive you of your liberty, it can use force to do so. If government wants to take your life, it can use a rope, electricity, bullets or lethal injection to accomplish its goal.
So what stands between you and the government when the government decides that it wants to use force to take your property, your liberty or your life? Answer:The law.
That’s it. The law. We’re a government of law. Before the government can use that one unique asset force it must abide by certain strict and closely interpreted laws. We call this “due process.” Under our Constitution and under our laws, the government must afford you due process before it can pull out the guns.
How do we hold the government’s feet to the fire on due process? Defense attorneys, that’s how. Attorneys that know both the statutes and the case law, know the rules of procedure, know the standards of proof, know your rights, and are prepared to defend those rights in court.
The criminal defense attorney has one role. That role is to make sure the government abides by the law, follows the rules, submits the evidence and makes its case to the satisfaction of a jury before it can bring force to bear on you.
Every time a criminal defense attorney forces the government to adhere tightly to the procedures, the rules and the law for a defendant who is obviously guilty, that attorney is preserving the system of due process for the next defendant who may well be innocent.
Whoever the poor sap is that gets the Avila case … he will be standing there in court working for you. He will be telling the government:
“Ok, my client may be guilty, but there are still rules and procedures to be followed and rights to be protected. I’m going to make sure that you have the legal evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client committed this hideous crime before I stand by and let you deprive him of his liberty or his life. I’m doing this not only for my client but also for the next person who will stand trial in this courtroom a defendant who may well be innocent. You have the power of force. I’m going to make sure you don’t exercise that power until you have a legal right to do so.”