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Ex-Prosecutor Praises Duke Lawyers

Posted Apr 17, 2007 11:22 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The defense lawyers who skillfully represented three former Duke University lacrosse players declared innocent this week of raping a stripper at a team party remind all of us why we need defense lawyers, said Randy E. Barnett, a former Cook County, Illinois prosecutor.

In an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription required), he recounted a long-ago television appearance in which released defendants sharing the podium nodded in agreement as Barnett said innocent men are convicted because of incompetent defense counsel.

"The crucial importance of defense lawyers was illustrated in reverse by the Duke rape prosecution, mercifully ended last week," Barnett continued, adding: "The next time you hear a lawyer joke, maybe you'll think of the lawyers who represented these three boys, and it won't seem so funny."

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