“The First Victim Is Really The Defendant.”-Gerry Spence

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“How can you care for somebody that has raped a little girl and killed her?  How can you care for somebody who blows up innocent people?  How can you care for serial killers?  How do you do that?

Too often, the person that’s before the jury who’s your client is the first victim.  I mean, we have a victim.  We have a crime that’s been committed and there is a victim of that crime.  But what about the first victim.  The first victim is really the defendant, the man you’re defending, can you see him as a little baby?

That little baby is in a crib.  And in the crib next to it is the doctor, or the lawyers, or the bankers child that’s just been born.  And if you switch the two and the banker took home the little child… and raised that child, that child would end up being a good citizen, in all likelihood.  So what are we punishing?  Are we punishing the failure of the switch to have been made?  Are we hating this man because he was the victim of a mother who didn’t care, or a father who abandoned him?

You can take a little sweet wiggly tailed spaniel pup.  And put the pup in a pen with bars in it…  You can stick it with sticks. You can refuse to feed it when hungry.  You can stick it in with other vicious dogs…. And one day the pup will bite you.  Now, we should kill the pup shouldn’t we…

How can we care?  Well you really must understand what he’s become, where’s he come from. What’s formed this little pup into what he is.”

-Gerry Spence

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Mark D. Copoulos

Mark D. Copoulos

From 2008-2011 Mark D. Copoulos worked for the First Judicial District, the Honorable Arnold, and the Honorable Shelley-Robins as interns and/or staff....

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