Death Penalty

By Mark David Blum, Esq.

a dark and mournful morning this is for me. i know many of my colleagues have gone through this but it is a first for me. yesterday, i had a client lose a jury verdict and in response, downed a handle of cyanide pills. say what you will about the charges and the outcome; i have been and remain to this day convinced he was a victim. sad his only way out was to take the only way out.

i tell people going into law that there is more than just arguing and more than just winning and losing. there are real lives real fortunes real liberty on the line. there is no room for error in judgment or in deed.

am not quite sure how to feel. because i got to know the client at a very close and personal level, i knew him as a human being and not as a name on an indictment. what happened was so very wrong. the scars and injuries will be widespread and last a lifetime. so i must remain objective as a lawyer. but beneath the superman cape and bullet proof vest, and under the shark skin and fancy suits, lies a human being (surprise!) and i am subject to the frailties and emotions that come with it. one of them is caring for someone since i am supposed to be their rescuer -- and i failed.

i know one young lady whose future is going to be living hell as the realization of what she did sets in and then the guilt eats at her brain until she fails. It should. there is no penance that can be paid to undo the pain and damage she wrought on a lie.

so today i mourn. tomorrow i get up and move on to "next". but the pain remains and the lesson taken away is redouble my efforts to be better stronger smarter for the next case. we practice law, we dont do law. this lesson i learned was a hard one and will last me a lifetime. it will be among the many ghosts that skip along beside me wherever i am or doing.

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It is always a far better thing
to have peace than to be right.
But, when it is not,
or when all else fails

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Manlius, New York 13104
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