The way that Leiby Kletzky died is indeed horrifying. The eight-year-old child was walking home from day camp in his closely-knit Jewish community in Brooklyn. He took a wrong turn and asked a stranger for directions. His body parts were later found in a dump truck and in the refrigerator of the man suspected of committing this horrific crime, Levi Aron.
Last week the criminal defense attorney representing Mr. Aron withdrew from the case. Referring to the “horrific way this boy was killed” and adding that he could not represent someone accused of this kind of brutality when he has three boys of his own, the defense lawyer stepped down from the defense team.
Now I can’t blame the lawyer for feeling the way he did. He certainly does not have to accept a representation he finds repugnant. But as a lawyer he has a duty of loyalty to the client. This duty of loyalty continues even after the relationship with the client ends. So withdraw if you must, but do so quietly. It’s wrong to disparage a former client and add to the condemnation and blame that resoundingly greets a defendant from every other quarter.