Alan Dershowitz Quotes

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  • I think most defense attorneys honestly believe the principle that says, 'Better 10 guilty go free than even one possibly innocent person be convicted.

  • Imagine a legal system in which lawyers were equated with the clients they defended and were condemned for representing controversial or despised clients.

    Alan Dershowitz (2009). “Letters to a Young Lawer (Easyread Large Edition)”, p.44, ReadHowYouWant.com
  • I have made a career out of arguing that we shouldn't be criminalizing political differences. I've made a career out of arguing that the grand jury is an abusive institution. I have made a career out of arguing that we shouldn't stretch and expand the criminal law. I'm not going to change it because you think these are abnormal times. When Thomas Jefferson told the Justice Department that they had to prosecute Aaron Burr, and that he was going to have the chief justice impeached unless he found Aaron Burr guilty, those were special times too.

    Source: www.wbur.org
  • I was critical of race-based affirmative action early on in my career and I've changed my mind. And I've publicly acknowledged that I was wrong.

  • The Israeli military plays more than a critical role in defending the citizens of the Jewish state. It also plays an important social, scientific and psychological role in preparing its young citizens for the challenging task of being Israelis in a difficult world.

  • I tell my students, if you ever become comfortable with your role as criminal defense lawyer, it's time to quit. It should be a constant source of discomfort, because you're dealing with incredible moral ambiguity, and you've been cast into a role which is not enviable.

  • No country in the history of the world has ever contributed more to humankind and accomplished more for its people in so brief a period of time as Israel has done since its relatively recent rebirth in 1948.

  • The law is agnostic about truth. It's very skeptical of ultimate truth. That's why freedom of speech permits lies to be told.

  • Individuals have the right to pick and choose which expressions to condemn, which to praise and which to say nothing about. Governments, however, must remain neutral as to the content of expression. And governments must protect the rights of all to express even the most despicable of views.

    "Are Radical Imams Going to Redefine Freedom of Speech?" by Alan Dershowitz, www.huffingtonpost.com. September 20, 2012.
  • I came from a poor family, so working and going to school at the same time was natural. It taught me multi-tasking, although we didn't call it that back then. I learned I could never be idle, I need to be doing many things at once.

  • Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a safety hazard don't see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use this same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like.

    Gun  
  • I'm not a single-issue person, but I spend so much time on Israel because it is so unfairly condemned around the world.

  • Everybody says they're opposed to torture. But everyone would do it personally if they knew it could save the life of a kidnapped child who had only two hours of oxygen left before death. And it would be the right thing to do.

    "Does torture work?" by Martin Robbins, www.theguardian.com. November 4, 2010.
  • When you discriminate against anyone, you discriminate against everyone. It's a display of terrible intolerance.

  • It's a new phenomenon in America that states can now sue the national government and become a kind of check and balance on the excesses of the federal government.

    Source: www.npr.org
  • The best answer to bad speech is good speech

    Alan M. Dershowitz (1994). “Contrary to Popular Opinion”, Berkley Publishing Group
  • The court of last resort is no longer the Supreme Court. It's 'Nightline.'

  • The prosecution wants to make sure the process by which the evidence was obtained is not truthfully presented, because, as often as not, that process will raise questions.

    U.S. News & World Report, August 9, 1982.
  • There is no perfect justice, just as there is no absolute in ethics. But there is perfect injustice, and we know it when we see it.

  • In the Pentagon Papers case, the government asserted in the Supreme Court that the publication of the material was a threat to national security. It turned out it was not a threat to U.S. security. But even if it had been, that doesn't mean that it couldn't be published.

  • I was a Jewish rabbinical student for 12 years, and studied the Bible all the time.

  • I've thought of publishing a book of my hate mail, but I don't own the rights to the letters.

  • Scientists search for truth. Philosophers search for morality. A criminal trial searches for only one result: proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    "Casey Anthony: The System Worked" by Alan Dershowitz, www.wsj.com. July 7, 2011.
  • The defendant wants to hide the truth because he's generally guilty. The defense attorney's job is to make sure the jury does not arrive at that truth.

    "U.S. News & World Report", August 9, 1982.
  • Any human being has private thoughts.

  • I think we have to give religion its due. I think we have to respect those for whom religion is important, but equally respect those who can achieve good morality without religion.

  • There will never be another Ed Koch. He was an original, but he represented a significant, if shrinking, segment of American Jewry who refused to compromise their liberal values, their support for Israel or their Jewish pride.

    "Ed Koch: The Death of a Liberal Israel Lover" by Alan Dershowitz, www.huffingtonpost.com. February 4, 2013.
  • I think mistakes are the essence of science and law. It's impossible to conceive of either scientific progress or legal progress without understanding the important role of being wrong and of mistakes.

  • Though Israel may often be deserving of criticism, what is missing is the comparable criticism of equal or greater violations by other countries and other groups. This constant, often legitimate criticism of Israel for every one of its deviations, when coupled with the absence of legitimate criticism of others, creates the impression currently prevalent on university campuses and in the press that Israel is among the worst human rights violators in the world....it is not true, but if it is repeated often enough, it takes on a reality of its own.

  • The threat or fear of violence should not become an excuse or justification for restricting freedom of speech.

    "Are Radical Imams Going to Redefine Freedom of Speech?" by Alan Dershowitz, www.huffingtonpost.com. September 20, 2012.
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  • We hope you have found the saying you were looking for in our collection! At the moment, we have collected 152 quotes from the Lawyer Alan Dershowitz, starting from September 1, 1938! We periodically replenish our collection so that visitors of our website can always find inspirational quotes by authors from all over the world! Come back to us again!

    Alan Dershowitz

    • Born: September 1, 1938
    • Occupation: Lawyer