Wednesday, August 09, 2006

She-Hulk is a Lousy Lawyer

Okay, this is not going to be a regular comics blog, but Civil War: Front Line #5 just requires the following observation:

Jennifer Walters, aka the Savage She-Hulk, is a lousy lawyer. Either she doesn't know what she's doing, or she's willing to lay down for the prosecution when she personally agrees with their position. Either way, if you're a character in the Marvel Universe, do not hire her as your defense attorney on any account.

Unless it's some alien trial by combat or something, of course.

Why do I say this? Well, throughout this series so far, she's been representing Robbie Baldwin, aka Speedball, the sole survivor of the New Warriors and official government scapegoat for the Stamford disaster. You'd think some blame would accrue to Nitro, the guy who actually exploded and took out all the civilians, but it appears that everybody but Wolverine has forgotten about him, and I hear (not reading that series) that it appears the USG doesn't actually want him caught.

In any case, Jen has been devoting most of her efforts to getting Baldwin to accept one of the plea deals she's managed to get for him. Only problem is, like all plea bargains, these would involve an admission of guilt. Baldwin doesn't feel that he's the guilty party in this case and refuses the deals. I can see why she wouldn't want to go in front of a jury with this case, but if her client doesn't want to plea, I would think she'd spent a *little* effort coming up with an actual defense strategy.

Okay, up to that point, she's maybe a little lazy as a defense attorney, but still apparently competent. Then comes the latest issue.

She's talking with Robbie as they transfer him to a facility in the Negative Zone run by robots, with no medical care. Let's not even get into the legal problems with that, especially for prisoners still awaiting trial. But what's actually worse is what she tells him on the way there...

Speedball asks her if this is for his court date. She says she's working on it, but the *appeals* process takes a while, especially for someone who's refused a reasonable deal. Okay, fair enough... wait a second.

Jen, why are you talking to your client about the appeals process? He hasn't been convicted yet.

That's how bad a defense lawyer she is - she apparently thinks that rejecting a plea deal is the same as a conviction. She's not familiar with little things called due process and the right to a fair trial. She's talking about appeals when she should be trying to get bail instead.

Okay, maybe one can infer that the trial occurred between issues and Baldwin was found guilty. However, there is no dialogue to support this conclusion, and if that's the case one really wonders why the title of the story is, "The Accused", not "The Convicted". If I'm wrong about this and Speedball has gotten his trial without it being shown or talked about - then only one conclusion is possible:

Paul Jenkins is a worse writer than Jen Walters is a lawyer.


Anonymous fatfingur said...

Hi Scott. First of all thanks for leaving a comment in my Civil War Comics blog.

I think She-Hulk is really not a lousy lawyer at all. It's just that Speedball is really hard-headed. If he did just register when he had the chance, he might get a pardon and he'd be in trial. The problem with Speedball is he is so proud and he doesn't want to be blamed for the trouble he was a part of. But anyway, I know Speedball will be fine... in the negative zone.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

"If he did just register when he had the chance, he might get a pardon and he'd be in trial."

I'm confused... if he got a pardon, why would he need a trial? The pardon would let him go free in and of itself, no?

You also don't need a pardon or any other form of special dispensation in order to get a fair trial - or at least you're not supposed to (but they don't show She-Hulk having to go through the same hoops that lawyers have had to in order to even see clients in Guantanomo, so it appears this is all occurring in the normal court system).

The trial is supposed to determine your guilt or innocence, some judge's opinion of your guilt or innocence is not supposed to determine whether you get a trial in the first place. An *appeal* is an appeal to a higher court saying you think the verdict of the initial trial is flawed (usually as a matter of law rather than facts). No trial, no need for or way to appeal.

10:19 AM  

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