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Published on Jun 23, 2008
Rep. James Fagan, a Taunton criminal defense attorney, recently argued on the House floor against Jessica's Law, a measure that would set mandatory minimum sentences for child rapists.
"Let me tell you why it's so wrong," said Fagan (D-Taunton). "It's so wrong because in these situations . . . that 6-year-old is going to sit in front of me, or somebody far worse than me and I'm going to rip them apart. I'm going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined. That when they're 8 years old they throw up; when they're 12 years old, they won't sleep. When they're 19 years old they'll have nightmares and they'll never have a relationship with anybody. And that's not because I'm a nice guy. That's because when you're in court, and you're defending somebody's liberty, and you're facing a mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions, you have to do every single thing you can do on behalf of your client. That is your obligation as a trial lawyer."