•  
  •  
 

Authors

Sadiq Reza

Abstract

This essay argues that the public defender should not undertake, or fail to undertake, any action to the legal detriment of a client on the basis of a conflict the attorney perceives between religious and professional responsibility, except for imminent death or serious bodily harm to another. Having accepted the responsibility of representing indigent criminal defendants, the public defender is duty-bound to not compromise that responsibility for competing religious obligations. This argument rests on four premises: (1) the public defender occupies a unique position in our legal system, and options available to private interest lawyers or other clients should not be available to the public defender; (2) any deviation from the governing professional constraints in representing a client that stems from conflicting religious belief and harms the client is both professional unethical and immoral; (3) religion is at best equivocal in addressing the propriety of specific actions taken or urged on behalf of clients; and (4) the appropriate role of religion in the work of a public defender is that of individual inspiration, or motivation to work to change the professional code or the criminal jutstice system itself.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.