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Running for political office is harder for public defenders


By Shannon Sweeney

20 June 2014 at 10:14 BST


Having worked as a public defender can hinder a lawyer's chances of gaining political office.

Running for political office is more difficult for public defenders. bikeriderlondon

According to The Washington Post, acting as a public defender can hinder a lawyer's chances for gaining political office.

The current United States Congress includes 32 former prosecutors, according to the Congressional Research Service. Far fewer had public defender listed on their resumes. According to a House of Representatives database, only five US representatives have worked as public defenders since 2000. The story connects to the current criticism surrounding Hillary Clinton's work as a public defender for an accused rapist. Steven D. Benjamin, the immediate president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told the Washington Post that attacks on criminal defense attorneys, particularly on public defenders assigned by the state, is 'grossly unfair.'

Attacked for their work

In 2006, Arkansas Supreme Court candidate Tim Cullen faced backlash for his work on an appeal for a man convicted of possessing child pornography, illustrating one of many cases of public defenders being attacked for their work while running for office. Mr Benjamin told the Post that he knows of criminal defense lawyers who have declined running for political office because they fear being attacked for their work as public defenders. Sources: The Washington Post and ABA Journal

 
   
 
 
 

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