A personal reflection on today's events

 
 Father and son attending a Bills game in L.A. on October 9, 2016.

Father and son attending a Bills game in L.A. on October 9, 2016.

 

Anthony "Tony" Capozzi is my dad, grandpa to my kids, and professional mentor. He is the best man I know. I could not be prouder of him as a person and legal peer.

Today reminded me why I became a defense attorney. Sure I wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps but I also wanted to make a difference. I often get asked how I could defend people accused of crimes. I used to answer that I believed in the rule of law and the constitutional principle that all people should be treated fairly and justly in court. That holds true today. But over time, and after I started seeing how the justice system actually works (not as it was taught in law school), I came to develop a deeper belief as to why my profession is vital to our society. The simple truth is that life is not fair, that people do not always treat others well. Our government is made up of people and its power is overwhelming. The framers of the constitution realized this and so they wisely created a system of checks and balances. My job is to ensure those checks are enforced and the balances weighed fairly.

Today I witnessed what happens when the government acts through its power to target a single individual without check and balance. The Fresno County Sheriffs Office issued a press release to the media (to everyone in fact) that my dad was under criminal investigation.  They did this without setting forth a single fact in support, without first speaking to my dad about why they would soon be dragging his impeccable reputation through the gutter.

If they have cause to believe he did actually commit a crime, a proposition I find inapposite to his character, then have the guts to state why. That is how the system is supposed to work. Today I am reminded of a Lincoln saying that "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." Applied here: to support a charge you need facts and those facts need to be presented before leveling an accusation of criminality. Ignoring this truism will not negate this responsibility.

I am defense attorney because of my dad and because what my dad is going though. I support him with all my heart. 

 

/s/ Nicco Capozzi