Law: Lawyer Verdict

He criticizes his own case

Like any good defense attorney, James Crew of Hayward, Calif., is used to arguing vigorously and sometimes ingeniously on behalf of defendants he suspects are guilty. That was what he did in 1977 for Barry Braeseke, then 21, who was charged with murdering his parents and grandfather. Crew urged the judge to suppress two confessions in which Braeseke matter-of-factly described shooting his family. Crew's rationale: although he later changed his mind, the youth had originally asked to speak to authorities "off the record." The argument failed. But later the California Supreme Court—on an appeal handled by a...

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