Dwane Cates is the founding partner of the Cates & Sargeant Law Group, PLLC in Phoenix, AZ. Mr. Cates is a nationally recognized criminal defense attorney who has handled numerous high profile national defense cases. He makes regular guest appearances on national T.V. talks shows, such as the Nancy Grace Show (HLN), Session (TruTV), and Happening Now (Fox News). I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Cates about some criminal justice hot talking points and was more than happy with the results. Here is the interview:
Q. What made you want to become a criminal defense attorney?
A. I found the criminal justice system fascinating. I also like being in court and with criminal law you get to be in court a lot.
Q. What do you think the most interesting criminal court case has been in the last 10 years and why?
A. The Jodi Arias case. I was a legal commentator for HLN and other cable news networks and followed the case very closely.
Q. Many people, including some heads of state, believe that the United States should end its war on drugs. Do you agree with this belief or do you think the U.S. should continue with the current way it is attempting to fight the war on drugs?
A. The war on drugs in not working. In fact it is making the cartels even richer. Only the small "mules" get caught and the money people never do. Also with medical marijuana they basically made marijuana legal, but did not provide a legal way to purchase it and demand is much greater than supply, so the cartels business is booming.
Q. What is your opinion on capital punishment in the U.S. and the death penalty?
A. Capital punish should end. Studies show that the death penalty is not a deterrent it is simply revenge. That is not who we are. Killing people for killing people does not make sense. We are no better than those who behead people in the public square, other than we give people expensive due process before we publicly execute them.
Q. What are some of the most common reasons as to why a court would decide to charge a juvenile as an adult in a criminal case?
A. If a juvenile is dangerous and needs to be segregated from society for a long time. Otherwise, try to rehabilated them. Most young people deserve a chance to change their lives.
Q. In your opinion, do you think the current measures that the government is taking to decrease the amount of gun crimes in the U.S. are efficient and effective enough? If not what do you think our government could do differently to successfully reduce gun crime?
A. Gun control does not lower gun crimes. Gun crimes are perpetrated by criminals. Deal with the criminal problem and you deal with the gun problem. The exception is the mentally ill. There was a 60 Minutes piece a few weeks back about the our mentally ill and the justice system. We went from confining people in mental hospitals to confining the mentally ill in jails.