Can an Orthodox Jew practice criminal law as defense counselor or a prosecutor or judge?
An orthodox Jew surely can practice criminal law as a prosecutor or judge. No question about that because he is administering the laws of the land. Dinah d’malchusa dinah; and therefore, what he’s doing is according to the law of the Torah. We have to fulfill the laws of the land.
Can he practice as defense counsel? That’s a big question. Because, ki ha’shoichad ye’aver einei chachamim. Bribery blinds people. And the biggest bribery is your fee. Besides, you want to succeed. And therefore, a lawyer who spends years and years allowing his mind to be crippled by his fees just to defend his clients is the very worst one to appoint as a judge. When he becomes a judge, he is a ruined man. His conscience doesn’t exist.
That’s why judges are all criminals. I’m not exaggerating. The judges are all criminals. If you want a real judge, you should go out on the street, and look for an Italian construction gang. It can be a Polish construction gang too. I happen to like Italians – the Polish are anti-Semites.
Take an Italian construction fellow and put him up there with a black robe and believe me he’ll administer justice. If he doesn’t know the law, get an expert in law to advise him on the law – someone who never practiced it; there should be a certain career, ‘expert advisors,’ to advise the Italian judges on what the law says. But the man to judge, it has to be someone with a conscience; it should be a plain goy, a working man; a blue-collar goy.
He’ll be a better judge because the lawyers are all criminals. You can’t help being a criminal. You pay to defend criminals and therefore when you finally become a judge, your mind is crooked and warped and that’s why the defense lawyers who become judges, they are reshaim gemurim, all of them. This can’t be helped. כי השוחד יעור – bribery blinds you.
TAPE # 561 (August 1985)