General Question

shared3's avatar

Should lawyers be able to discredit witnesses they know to be truthful?

Asked by shared3 (921 points ) July 12th, 2009

As it stands now, lawyers are able to discredit testimony they know to be true but are unable to present any testimony they know to be false? Is this stupid and hypocritical, or does this make sense? What do you think?

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14 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

A lawyer’s job is to provide the best defense he or she can for the client, within the limits of the law.

peyton_farquhar's avatar

If what you have said is true, then I really hope I am never on the defendant’s side of the justice system.

Darwin's avatar

All’s fair in love, war and court cases.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

how are you going to regulate that in the first place? you expect a lawyer to take a dive in a case if there’s a chance taking that witness away will help them win?

Deepness's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs Absolutely! We are Americans. We are all about truth and justice. Aren’t we? We are about bringing peace and light to the darkest axis of evil.

Allowing liars…cough, I mean lawyers, to knowingly discredit someone who is telling the truth is tantamount to corruption. OMG! Say it isn’t so! Americans!? Defenders of the free world!? Corrupt!?

So there you have it. Lawyers should not get away with discrediting witnesses who speak the truth. It’s a crime.

shared3's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 One way to regulate it would be to disbar/suspend any lawyers found to have done that.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Defense lawyers can know that their client is guilty, but still attempt to defend them. Should that not be allowed too?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

How do we know they are telling the truth if their testimony doesn’t stand up to scrutiny?

shared3's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic The thing is that the lawyer would KNOW that the testimony is true.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@shared3 Things aren’t always that black and white.

benjaminlevi's avatar

..and proving what people know is hard.

cwilbur's avatar

Because not all witnesses are reliable, and that’s why we have an adversarial system.

It’s the job of the lawyer for the prosecution to present all the evidence that shows the defendant is guilty, and to look for problems with any evidence that calls the defendant’s guilt into question.

It’s the job of the lawyer for the defense to present all the evidence that exonerates his client, and to look for problems with any evidence that shows the defendant’s guilt.

The jury gets to evaluate all of this evidence and decide where the truth lies.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

As long as we have fools on juries who take instructions from judges on anything other that procedure we will not have justice and nothing will matter what is said in the courtroom. If it is said under oath it is to be considered even if the judge tells you to forget it. He doesn’t have the power to do that without shooting you anyway so he should not intimidate people with lies.

CMaz's avatar

Yes, if it sets you free.

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