There really are no safe places in which to hide from the chaos that sustains us.
Murder, rape, illegal drugs. We grow cynical and somehow detached defending these cases. We have good facts and bad facts. Clients become files we need to move. And so it goes in the vineyards of despair.
And then the chaos strikes close to home; sometimes even in our home. The game becomes real, deadly real.
California criminal defense Daniel Horowitz came home the other night to find his wife dead in their home. She was murdered. By whom? Police don't know.
Horowitz is a defender's defender, and a sometime television analyst for the networks. This time he is not on the sidelines of some life-rending event, making what he can of a defense, or commenting on the grief of others. He is in the thick of it.
Death threats and fear are part of the job, but we survive most often by reminding ourselves of the odds. It is rare that a lawyer or his family is killed; it's just talk when the threats come, isn't it?
Every few weeks I get a call from the FBI asking if I've noticed anything different in my daily routines. A former client in federal custody has made no secret of the fact that he wants me dead. The last time the feds called I was snotty: "Yeah, something is different," I sneered. "You people call me every couple of weeks and scare the sh*t out of me."
Maybe I shouldn't have been so rude.