Bay Area Family Law

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The New Book for Power of Forgiveness Demonstrates “Kill Crime Not Criminals”

With more than 20 years experience as a trial attorney, John Patrick Contini a former prosecutor and veteran criminal defense attorney since 1983, appeared in 11 Federal Courts throughout the nation and Florida.

John received his B.A. in 1979 from the University of MA and his Juris Doctor in 1982 from the New England School of Law. John has been written up by many publications and featured on national and home television and radio news outlets. His law firm, John P. Contini and Associates, concentrates in the family law/marital issues areas, commercial litigation, insolvency law, employees’ compensation and employment law, civil rights litigation, individual hurt, and illegal death cases.

His private and professional journey has taken him from the depths of emotional despair over the state of an unforgiving world, and the weakness and hypocrisy inherent in human nature, to the pinnacle of religious joy and completion. The challenges he has faced, and their resolutions - from both a lawful and religious position - have enabled him to raise and grow as an attorney, and as a gentleman. Working alongside with those who have been really regretful, Contini has had to fight with his own ego and private fiends, witnessing the amazing duality that lies inside the hearts of his dear friends, respected peers, and those he has represented.

Contini, who once served as a Broward County, Florida prosecutor said, "Consider the James Gould case and the public outrage it incited. Indignation and righteous anger, including my own, is the typical response when you explain a man who declares to taking a shower with an 8-year-old boy, and perhaps doing some unsuitable things. Yes, there are legal penalty for this shameful crime and yet, as an evolved society with respect for treatment and rehabilitation, are we not required to have some compassion toward even folks like Gould who themselves were once victimized as children? Where's the understanding for the child within this man, before his own innocence was smashed by the sexual mistreatment perpetrated on him?"

Contini considers that criminals can be excused, and still go to jail where, he says, most deserve to be. Ironically, much of what Contini has learned regarding life, his own failings and weaknesses, and his blossoming holiness, was gleaned from relations with some of his most infamous and notorious clients. His close contact with Gil Fernandez, the former Miami police officer and champion bodybuilder who was convicted of the triple gangland-style murder of three supposed drug dealers in 1991, assisted to modify Contini's life.

"I got too close to Gil, and perhaps should have tried harder to maintain appropriate boundaries, and put a strong distance between myself and my client," he said. "But I don't regret a thing. Now after 20 years as a criminal defense lawyer, I only take customers who I believe are really repentant -- those who show remorse for their crime, and empathy for the victim and the victim's family. As a man of faith, my relationship with Gil helped me to practice what I used to just preach."

In spite of a person's guilt, whether in reference to James Gould, Gil Fernandez, or any other person who has been accused of a heinous crime, Contini believes that if you identify the defendant is guilty, it's vital to "condemn the act, not the person."


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