24 February 2022, The Tablet

Christianity and the law: hate the sin, not the sinner

Christianity and the law: hate the sin, not the sinner


A Christian lawyer known for taking on unpopular causes and fighting extremely difficult cases is often excoriated for defending those accused of horrendous crimes

Christians are called to live holy lives. My practice frequently brought me into dealing with the unholy. Most people take the view that those who represent criminals as defence lawyers are as bad, if not worse, than the criminals themselves: their job is “to get the villain off” or somehow reduce the proper punishment he or she should have for their crime.

I represented the infamous “Moors murderer” Myra Hindley for seven years. Many people, including Christians, asked me: “How can you represent such an evil woman?” The trial judge described Ian Brady and Hindley, who had tortured and murdered five children between July 1963 and October 1965, as “two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity”.

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