Defense attorneys—they’re the ones standing behind the chair of the accused on Law & Order and the 6 o’clock news. In cases where the defendant appears to be innocent, the defense attorney is our hero. But if it’s likely that the defendant is guilty, especially if the crime is violent, we look at these lawyers and wonder how they can represent such clients.

Erica Heilman wondered this herself. She’s the producer of a radio program called Rumblestrip Vermont, and for a recent hourlong episode called “The Defense,” she collected the stories, rants, and reflections of five different Vermont defense attorneys. Today, we’re listening to a modified version of that piece. Our story features just one attorney, Richard Rubin. Music for the show was created by David Schulman and Quiet Life Motel.

[Editor’s note: This podcast contains explicit language.]