Although there are some questions about Durst's meaning and mental state, the prejudice does not substantially outweigh its probative value of the statements. And as for the meaning, each side is free to argue their interpretation.
While the impetus behind the highly charged reactions to these grand jury decisions and racial arguments warrant real debate and focus, an equally glaring issue in the Brown and Garner cases is the way in which the district attorneys presented the cases to their respective grand juries.
Advising the accused is not a politically popular job. But it is a necessary one. To criticize defense attorneys, the chief checks against prosecutorial abuse, is to promote a judicial system of error by stigmatizing a key motivator for better prosecution.
Our criminal justice system, in which the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, works best when defense attorneys zealously represent their clients using all legal means. When would they cross the line?
In July, 2011, Levi Aron allegedly kidnapped, killed and dismembered the body of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn. What lawyer would want to represent him? And if a lawyer does undertake such representation, what lawyer would boast about it?