Still, much of a prosecutor's work doesn't feature the high glamour or financial gain that sometimes characterizes a civil litigator's life. In addition, the kinds of felons prosecutors often try—car thieves, white-collar criminals, and murderers—have little in common with the parties involved in civil actions. Furthering the differences between private and public work is the fact that the top job is an elected office, so most prosecutors need to be politicians as well as serious trial attorneys.
As such, the requirements of the job call for a very special kind of attorney. And the advice he/she provides is for a very special kind of legal work.
Henry Valdez, District Attorney for the First Judicial District of New Mexico.
A good opening statement is critical to effective prosecution.
"A case that stands out in my memory," comments Henry Valdez, the District Attorney for the First Judicial District of New Mexico, "is the State vs. Abeyta." Mr. Abeyta was accused of killing seven people, including a sheriff's deputy, a police officer, and an infant. In 1991, it took more than three months for Mr. Valdez to try the case. In the end, the jury convicted Mr. Abeyta of several counts of first-degree murder, and he received the longest sentence in New Mexico history.
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