During Friday’s hearing on lifting the pretrial restrictions on the defendants in the Robert Wone murder case, the prosecution argued for freezing the defendants assets to alleviate flight risk, defendant Victor Zaborsky’s lawyer responded with a strange answer. “I don’t mean to be mercenary here, but there are attorney’s fees and expert fees to be paid to fight this case.”
Now everyone charged with a crime in America has the right to a defense, but doesn’t the use of the word “mercenary” by the defense as it relates to their work for the defendants undermine their credibility? Since mercenary means a solider for hire, it means that the soldier is not fighting for the cause, but rather just for the money. And if they only fight for the money, then they haven’t taken any position on the cause they are fighting for. They could be for, or they could against it, the point is the cause is not why they are fighting, just the money.
Now, defense attorneys take cases all the time for the money, but even so, implicit in taking the case is that they believe in the defense they are arguing for. At the minimum that needs to be the public position for a defense attorney, especially going into the trial phase. In the case of Robert Wone, the defense is arguing that the defendants are innocent of murdering the lawyer, and innocent of the pending obstruction of justice charge.
Has the defense’s belief in their client’s innocence been put into jeopardy when they said this?