Officer Simington’s letter to the editor criticizing Sam Swanberg for defending a state trooper’s killer was wrong on several points.
First, Mr. Swanberg had no choice in accepting this case. He was not hired, but was appointed as a contracted defender. That job requires providing the best legal counsel, and cases can’t be refused without a conflict. This case was first assigned to another attorney who had a conflict.
Second, the defendant was convicted and is serving a life sentence. Today, there are separate contracts for just murder and other high-priority cases, but at that time attorneys were appointed to handle all cases. Murder cases involve incredible time and commitment and they required appointment of special certified capital case attorneys to assist on those (there were only two in the state then).
Third, the 6th Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. guarantees fair representation of all defendants. Attorneys who are appointed to represent these defendants must do so to the best of their abilities. It’s sad Mr. Simington doesn’t know the Constitution.
Sam Swanberg is dedicated, honest and handles all his cases fairly, winning him support from more than 100 attorneys and the endorsement from the Tri-City Herald. Check the facts yourself, then vote Swanberg!
Kathryn M. Dell, Kennewick