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Beat your lawyer, go to jail for a little while

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You've probably seen this story about the man who sneak-attacked and beat up his public defender in court. But did you read it until the end?

William E. Lehman of Chisholm was miffed at his attorney's performance. Lehman expressed his displeasure by getting the court-appointed advocate in a headlock and punching him over and over in the face.

Obviously, this doesn't do wonders for proving one's innocence, especially given that his record includes assault and armed robbery. So it was no surprise to find that the 2006 trial went badly for the defendant.

Lehman was convicted and is serving 14 years at the Moose Lake state prison. For the attack on the lawyer, the judge threw in another six months for contempt of court.

As is appropriate, the vicious assault in a court of law added a considerable amount of hard time to ... wait, what? Six months? Six months is the type of sentence you get for protesting at the School of the Americas, lying about steroids, or when your daughter fails to get a G.E.D.

It would be easy to go for a "first thing we do is kill all the lawyers" joke here, but it wouldn't be right. I've got to go to bat for a fellow member of a largely-despised profession here. (Even Canadians don't like us, and Canadians like everyone.) Beat up an underpaid, overworked guy who is just trying to keep your assault-committing ass out of jail -- in front of all the officers of the court, no less -- and you should get a stiffer sentence than some hippie grandmother who wants the government to stop torturing people.