Joran van der Sloot finally pleaded guilty yesterday to the murder of a Peruvian woman, Stefany Flores, whom he had met in a bar. His lawyer, Jose Luis Jimenez, blamed the crime on van der Sloot’s earlier arrest for the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba and the widespread suspicion that he was the missing teenager’s killer.
Defense lawyers, in the zealous representation of their clients, must often come up with creative theories bordering on the risable to try to wring every last drop of helpful spin out of a hopeless case. It bothers non-lawyers and legal ethicists alike when attorneys assert things about a case or their client that they couldn’t possibly believe is true, though it is enough to meet the low bar of the Rules of Professional Conduct for the lawyer to believe that such statements might be true, perhaps in a parallel universe. They are in the “well, how about this?” category. A defense lawyer with a despicable client like van der Sloot, who appears to be a stone cold sociopath, doesn’t have much to work with. Continue reading