Good afternoon, and welcome to Santa Fe. I know that many of you have traveled long distances to be here, and it is a pleasure to see you here today.
I was asked by a friend, an appellate public defender, to speak here this morning. I asked my friend, in all honesty, why? Why me? After all, an appellate public defender is lucky to win one case in ten, if that. But my friend said to me, kindly I think, that at least you try to make a difference, at least you make an effort. Regardless, I am quite pleased at the invitation.
I think more than pleased, to be candid, because I am deeply honored to be invited to speak before just this body. The truth is that we judges do not often tell criminal defense attorneys how important your work is to us and to the criminal justice system as a whole. You are the ones who make the tough constitutional arguments, who remind us of the slippery slope that awaits us all if we succumb to appeasement in regard to fundamental constitutional rights and fundame
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