Should a Lawyer Defend Someone Who Is Guilty?


A lawyer who would represent a murderer is a rat.

Q1 Analysis

This may not be a Q1 violation if you believe that lawyers are only in the right when they represent people who they believe are innocent.

Q2 Analysis

If you would want legal representation even if you could not convince a lawyer that you are innocent, then this is a Q2 violation.


This statement may be rooted in the belief that a lawyer’s job is to get a judge or jury to find their client innocent. If this belief is true, then a lawyer who is attempting to help a guilty person get away with a crime might indeed be seen as immoral, even if they are just doing their job.

However, couldn’t a lawyer assist a client known to be guilty without trying to avert justice? For example, which of the following (if any) could a lawyer with a client that is clearly guilty do without behaving immorally?

You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at and See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.

Posted on August 6, 2010 at 10:26 am by ideclare · Permalink
In: 2Q

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