Well given the kind of shit public defenders probably often have to deal with (I mean, let's face it, probably the worst crimes are committed by those who haven't got the money to afford private defense) and they know that most of the people they're defending are guilty as hell and probably think they're scumbags. But they have to hold that shit in and smile. How would you like doing that, day in and day out, and try keeping a sunny disposition? Granted, that particular Public Defender might have just been an asshole in every facet of his life. But that's like becoming a teacher if you hate kids; some people just DO that kind of thing even knowing it's a bad idea, just for the money or because it's all they can do. That, or they like being assholes. But obviously that's a minority of people. Don't try to say all of them are like that. My mom had a really good public defender even though what he was defending her over was something she was guilty of, and mentally idiotic or not, she knew damn well what she was doing when it happened.
The problem with the justice system isn't people, it's time and volume. There are too many people needing to be processed in too short of time. They can't have full treatment given and a lot of them plea bargain out and because of their record, can't get a job and therefore turn right back to crime, or never get out at all. I am fully in favor of the death penalty but with all the appeals and everything, it takes forever for a guy to get killed and in the meantime it's costing us millions in tax money keeping them fed and sheltered.
If someone is mentally fucked up enough, I can sympathize with them to a point. If they can understand their crimes and show remorse, be rehabilitated and start contributing to society, I can forgive that kind of offense. But usually, I admit, they'll try to bullshit their way out of it and play their mental illness off as a complete excuse which ain't right. At that point, yeah, burn 'em.
Justice really needs to be more cut and dry. I really think we ought to go back to using whipping and other kinds of torturous penalties as punishments. Someone goes through that, they will NOT want to have it happen again. Whereas spending a couple of days/weeks/months in prison isn't really all that big a deal to a lot of people. So not only would it be a lot cheaper in the long run, I think it would be a hell of a lot more effective in stamping out repeat offenders. Fuck the Eighth Amendment.