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The Champion

June 2009 , Page 16 

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Letter to the Editor

By Robert S. Lasnik

I enjoy The Champion, but I do want to take exception with some parts of the recent “Moriarty Offers Tips on Recognizing Prosecutorial Misconduct” article in the April 2009 issue. I believe it does a disservice to the justice system. I am aware of the fact that not all aspects of the state and federal justice systems work as well as ours in Seattle and the Western District of Washington, but I do not believe our defenders feel that “the judge is angered merely by our presence.”

It is also naive to pretend that “unless it is a bench trial,” the judge is irrelevant. Except in rare cases, jurors identify with judges. If they perceive that the judge is fair, and that the attorney is doing things that are disrespectful to the judge, it might well hurt the defendant in the eyes of the jurors.

At the risk of damaging my credibility, I confess to being an ex-prosecutor. (But after 20 years of wearing the black as a state court trial judge and federal court trial judge, I think I have something

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