I’ve been blogging a lot about law school lately, and if it bores you I apologize. Maybe it’s just been on my mind too much lately. With job searching and finals around the corner, it is pretty much all I think about. One of my big conundrums is what kind of law to practice. Previous events have shown that I suck at choosing my life’s direction. It took me 3 years of undergraduate study to decide what I wanted to pursue for a major. And after a Master’s Degree in History, I realized I had chosen incorrectly. I think maybe one of the issues is that too much fascinates me. I remember loving geology, sociology, climatology, etc. Everything seemed worthy of study. I loved my Shakespeare classes as much as I did the ones about ancient Egypt. There were very few things I hated: math, physics, and architecture. So I didn’t exactly narrow the field much.
Today I was doing some homework and I think I have officially eliminated criminal law. I kind of already knew that I didn’t want to go that direction. I could see myself getting burned out pretty quickly, especially if I worked as a public defender. But I know a lot of people have a gruesome fascination with criminal law these days, thanks to shows like C.S.I. and Law and Order. Now, I love me some Law and Order SVU as much as the next weirdo, but something about reading cases that actually happened… I find myself getting physically ill. I never expected this.
All the sick shit that people do… man, it’s messed up. The case that prompted my reaction was about legal and factual impossibility as a defense to a crime. Can you charge someone with a crime when no crime, according to statute, was actually committed? What if a crime was committed, but the defendant’s actions weren’t the true cause of it, even though he thought they were? Example: some sicko drug dealer got mad at a guy because he owed him money. The debtor had already been shot twice in the chest a few minutes earlier by some other sicko. The chest wounds would have proved fatal within 5-10 minutes, but the sicko drug dealer came in and shot the guy again- 7 times at point blank range in the head. So who killed the victim? Does it matter? What if no expert can even say?
Or how about the group of freaks who decided to gang-rape a woman? They raped her, but it turned out she was already dead and they just didn’t know it. I don’t even want to *think* about the facts of this case. It just makes me sick. And I don’t want to *care* about the facts. Never, EVER do I want to find myself in court, prosecuting OR defending these people. While some people think the lawsuits they hear about in the news are frivolous, I would rather deal with something like a coffee burn than a corpse-rape.
And in all honesty, the cases that most people read about in the papers are dismissed or settled long before they make it to a jury. That, or the facts are not clearly presented in the media and what appears to be frivolous to the general public might actually be a compelling case to a court. Either way, I have officially crossed off criminal law from my list of possible choices, despite any lingering fascination. And I am pretty positive that I will not regret it for even a second.