Defendant Punches Public Defender At Sentencing
by Jamison Koehler on October 8, 2012
I have read that the person who is most likely to be the victim of violence in the courtroom is not the judge or prosecutor, as you might expect, but the defendant’s own attorney. Judges and prosecutors are often viewed as just doing their job, and when things do not turn out as defendants expected, they tend to blame their own lawyers for not having done their jobs. Public defenders have it particularly tough.
I myself have only seen one courtroom incident since I have been practicing. In that case, my colleague from the public defender’s office was more concerned about her purse being trampled by police officers responding to the alleged assault than about any possible injury to herself. I should also note that, although there is a panic button in each of the interview rooms at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, prison guards there told me that, to the best of their knowledge, the panic buttons have never once been used.
H/T A Public Defender on the video below.