Monday, November 4, 2002

Accused abortionist-killer James Kopp has a new defense attorney and he's not hesitating to bring the issue of abortion into the trial.

Defense lawyer Bruce A. Barket makes no secret of his admiration for his new client, James C. Kopp.

"People like Jim should be exalted in this country," Barket said of Kopp, the accused sniper killer of Dr. Barnett A. Slepian. "Jim is a devout Christian, a kind, gentle man who only acts after thinking and praying on things. He backs up his beliefs by putting his own life on the line."

.....Barket, a devout Catholic of Lebanese and Italian heritage, worked from 1986 to 1991 as a prosecutor for the Nassau County district attorney's office. Then he quit the legal profession to study for the priesthood. He said he returned to legal work less than a year later, after realizing he could best help others as a defense lawyer. Barket, a devout Catholic of Lebanese and Italian heritage, worked from 1986 to 1991 as a prosecutor for the Nassau County district attorney's office. Then he quit the legal profession to study for the priesthood. He said he returned to legal work less than a year later, after realizing he could best help others as a defense lawyer.

"As a Jesuit seminarian, I was doing some volunteer work in the jails, and a middle-aged black guy in work clothes came to me and said, "My son is in trouble. He's charged in a drug case. Can you help me?' " recalled Barket, 43. "I started looking into the case, and I found that this kid was being mistreated. I found myself working as a lawyer again."

Barket said he is somewhat embarrassed that he ever worked as a prosecutor, putting people in jail. Since becoming a defense lawyer, he said, he has handled many cases where he has caught police officers or government lawyers lying in efforts to put innocent people in jail.

"If Jesus Christ ever came back to life on earth, I don't think he would be a prosecutor. He'd be more likely to be a defense lawyer, helping people who are begging for forgiveness," Barket said.

This is absolutely fascinating. But...I thought I'd heard that there were credible, serious doubts as to Kopp's guilt. Did I imagine that? Someone enlighten me.

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