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William C. Altreuter
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Friday, March 13, 2015

I do not think I could do capital defense. I am unalterably opposed to the death penalty, and I am pretty sure of my abilities as an advocate, but as it is I identify more with my clients than I should-- in a death penalty situation the margin for error is too small for me to feel comfortable. That doesn't mean I can't appreciate the strategy of the defense team in the Tsarnaev case. They say that the best way to win a capital case is to never let it go to trial. With that option closed, Judy Clarke, David Bruck, and Miriam Conrad are doing they only thing they can do: accepting responsibility and arguing for mercy. You'd be surprised at how effective that can be. When you are dead on liability in my kind of litigation you buy a lot of credibility by acknowledging it, and credibility is the coin of the realm in from of a jury.

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