Dick Harpootlian slams critics in Senate address
South Carolina State Senator Dick Harpootlian, a longtime ally of President Joe Biden who has often been controversial in the past and who recently gained national notoriety for representing convicted double murderer Alex Murdaugh, told colleagues that people supported him Send messages telling him they hope he dies.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Richland County Democrat took the Senate floor and pondered his absence during the nationally-supervised murder trial — and the aftermath.
“I really came here to say that,” Harpootlian began. “I’ve received a number of texts and emails, most notably from the Lexington senator, asking how I’m doing. She always wants to know if I eat well? Am I sleeping well? And I appreciate those of you who have reached out to me in this maelstrom of a process. It’s hard to focus on anything other than the process. We stayed in Walterboro for six weeks.”
The former South Carolina Democratic Party leader opened up about his work as an attorney over the years.
“I’ve been doing this for almost half a century,” he said. “It’s still – ‘fun’ is the wrong word, but I still enjoy it just as much today as I did almost 50 years ago when I started this case testing process. And I’ve tried hundreds and hundreds of them: big falls, small falls. I’ve won cases, I’ve lost cases, but this process, when done right, can be so satisfying — for the attorneys. Now the customer: if he loses, he is not satisfied. When they win, they usually feel like they should have won anyway.”
Harpootlian dismissed any concern that the judge overseeing the Murdaugh trial was in any way bent on getting his client.
“He made the decision,” said the attorney and state senator. “We have lodged an objection. It’s in the log. The court, the supreme court, the appellate court have the ability to look at this, and maybe even the federal court, but it’s not based on bias. He just had a different legal opinion than I did.”
Then Harpootlian addressed comments he’d received from people online – although he said most of them were positive.
“A lot of people watched it in Germany, England or the Netherlands,” he said. “I don’t know. They don’t have anything else to do in those countries. But a few people here have also been giving me daily suggestions about what we should do or how we screwed up.”
All of that, Harpootlian suggested, was fine. It was a different kind of message that he didn’t particularly like.
“The people who have been sending me, ‘You’re a lazy scumbag’ and ‘I hope you’re dying’ — let me clean that up a bit — ‘rectal cancer,’ they have a misconception about the system,” he said. “They have a misconception about our justice system — while they’re very familiar with the Second Amendment, apparently they haven’t read the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth Amendments, which guarantee us liberties, liberties — which guarantee liberties from us ourselves and our property.”
Harpootlian further noted that both John Adams and Abraham Lincoln represented people accused of murder.
“He said everyone deserves the presumption of innocence and the benefit of legal counsel,” he said, referring to the second President of the United States.
“Read a book,” he added. “You know, Abraham Lincoln represented 20 murder defendants.”
Harpootlian also noted that as an attorney, he took an oath to read the policy statement to his colleagues.
“Oaths are important,” he said. “Your word counts.”
Last week, Harpootlian’s most high-profile client of his career was quickly convicted by a Colleton County jury on two counts of murder and related gun charges in the June 2021 deaths of his wife Maggie Murdaugh and youngest son Paul Murdaugh.
The defense has appealed.
The lawyer continued to complain about online commentators criticizing him for who he represents and a lack of knowledge about how the legal system works.
“Not everyone wished me rectal cancer, but most were pretty critical,” he said.
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https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/live-trials-current/alex-murdaugh/alex-murdaughs-attorney-complains-about-online-comments-he-received-wishing-he-die-of-rectal-cancer/ Dick Harpootlian slams critics in Senate address