Q: How can a lawyer, in good conscience, represent a guilty person charged with a crime?
A: Not every lawyer can. But those who do that kind of work know that they play an important role in our presumed-innocent system of laws and believe that the burden of proof must be borne and proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the government in every case. They also know that it’s much harder to represent innocent people and bear the risk that they will be wrongfully convicted.
The professional code of responsibility does not require lawyers to represent a client they find repugnant…but does impose the duty of zealous representation once a lawyer takes an unpopular case or represents a guilty client.