High profile lawyers and an unbalanced criminal justice system have a lot to do with each other. The criminal justice system can be altered by many different factors, one being the status of the criminal and the lawyer representing them. Many high profile lawyers are hired by high profile people. This already gives these criminals the upper hand in when trying to win their case. However, lawyers of high stature have been known to find legitimate ways to keep their clients out of jail, while also finding ways to publicize themselves and make more money off of the high profile cases. These tactics used by lawyers help to create a criminal justice system that is unbalanced and unequal to all criminals. High profile lawyers may be the cause of an unbalanced criminal justice system. The criminal justice system seems as though it has a system for normal middle and lower class people and than a whole different system for high-class people, thus, creating a very unfair, unbalanced criminal justice system.
In relation to my thesis, high profile lawyers by definition are well-respected lawyers of higher notoriety in our justice system, that are able to gain media attention and are only available to people with a lot of money. These types of lawyers take cases that involve celebrities, this means that they are paid more by their clients, and usually, the only people that can afford them also have a high profile. As explained in an article written by H. Patrick Furman called “Publicity in High Profile Criminal Cases”, these lawyers also have connections and power in the media that is higher than that of a public defender. This means that a client of higher status may have more options and plea deals at the time of sentencing because a jury may have formed an opinion influenced by a tabloid. This can also have a negative effect on the client however because the media may say negative things about the lawyer or the criminal that can jeopardize the case(517). In turn, this can create an unfair trial for the client possibly because of the lawyers’ reputation. These high profile lawyers do not always use legitimate strategies when it comes to defending their clients. However, this is allowed because the lawyer may have a favorable reputation. High profile lawyers are not only trying to win their case, but many of them have intentions of gaining media attention for their own benefit. It is also explained in the article that “it seemed that the lawyers spent more time in front of the camera than in front of the bench. Ironically, after the trial, half of the lawyers got their own television shows.” (507) This proves my definition because it shows that in high profile cases these lawyers are able to gain media coverage afterward, which makes them even more money. This may be their only reasoning behind helping these people.
An unbalanced criminal justice system has been a problem since the beginning of time. There will never be a perfect way to balance a system based on two things, guilty and not guilty. Nothing is ever black and white, however, our criminal justice system has come pretty close to figuring it out. The balance, however, is being disturbed by the fact that not everyone is able to get the same type of defense. People with more money are getting off more easily and it is not fair that someone whose only option is a public defender does not get the same type of representation as someone who has a high profile lawyer. An unbalanced criminal justice system is a system by which the courts treat a person differently than they treat other people because of their status. According to an article titled “Celebrity Justice” by John Gibeaut “advocates say today’s unmatched effort at secrecy cheats the public out of its First Amendment right to observe and criticize the system through its surrogates in the press. Ideally, public oversight is supposed to keep the system honest.”(44). As regular people, when we go to court our cases are heard by a public jury, where they vote on whether we are guilty or not guilty. Just because our stories don’t end up in the media and all over tabloids doesn’t mean its not public information just like a person of a higher profile. The criminal justice system would rather close case on high profile cases rather than find actual justice just to keep everything quiet. But, is thise fair to the people who are not of a high profile whose cases also are part of a public record? Definitely not. This helps to “[create] the appearance of a two-tiered justice system-one for celebrities and the other for everyone else-media”(44). This just further explains how unbalanced and unjust our system really is when it comes to higher profile cases. No matter what your status is, what class you are, everyones cases should be presented to the public. If you are of a higher status it should be expected by yourself and whoever is representing you that this will somehow get into the media.
An unbalanced criminal justice system and the power of high profile lawyers have a strong correlation as one of these is the cause of another. This is why it is obvious that my hypothesis “Celebrities are given unlawful and special treatment in the court of law as a result of high-profile lawyers utilizing illegitimate tactics, creating an immoral and unbalanced criminal justice system.” is so important. High profile lawyers cause this system to be unbalanced by trying to get rich off of their rich clients, not helping the poor and using their reputation to unfairly and unjustly support their clients. The criminal justice system is unbalanced because of these methods. People of the lower and middle class a lot of the time do not have access to these kinds of lawyers, therefore they do no get the same type of representation.