Vox Tablet

Why Public Defenders Represent Unsavory Clients. Hint: It’s Not the Money.

In this excerpt from radio documentary ‘The Defense,’ no-holds-barred attorney Richard Rubin offers his take on the job

October 6, 2014

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.]

Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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