Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Defense Attorney Aaron Hawbaker Speaks

One of the most interesting things that Mr. Hawbaker said to the class was when he was talking about the journalism aspect of his job whether it be talking to reporters or what he considers to be newsworthy. He also stated that "A lot of what is able to be reported is not considered evidence." This surprised me at first but upon further thought I realized that it is very evident. When you think of all the cases reported in the papers or able to be found online, rarely is it reported what the evidence is prior to a case being adjourned. He also believes that it is a journalists responsibility to be a civilian first and a journalist second. For example, if you, acting as a journalist, come across information that could be incriminating or help in a case, you should report it to authorities firstly before you do anything with a story in mind. When it comes to what he considers to be newsworthy. According to him, just because someone got pulled over and arrested does not make it news. The fact that this arrest goes to trial then becomes news. He also made the point that acquittals  are rarely reported. When it comes to talking to reporters, or anyone for that matter, Hawbaker has to be incredibly careful about what he says due to confidentiality purposes. Anything on public record is fair game to talk (and write) about, however. 

It was quite interesting to hear him speak about his experiences in the field. I was blown away by his 100% commitment to a fair trial no matter how heinous the crime. I also found it interesting the way that he so loosely talked about what he had seen; murderers, rapists, child molesters and others. He mentioned that he was "calloused" and that you had to be to do his job. His view on the law in general is very enlightening, saying that, "the law is there to protect, not as a sword to make things happen."  However, he also stated that the "the law bends to the circumstance." 

Overall the main thing I drew from him talking to the class was towards the end of his time when he said "Always ask, but don't be offended when you get shot down." He was referring to asking trial lawyers about their cases and how they rarely talk about them until after the case is officially over and even then it is a rarity. 

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