JCL Blog

Speaker Summary: John Henry Brown

Defense attorney John Henry Brown spoke at Emerald City Rotary today.  He did a great job of compressing an incredible career into 25 minutes.  Ranging from his decision (while in jail) to become an attorney, to defending Ted Bundy at the age of 29, to his current project representing Sgt. Bales, he certainly has a great many stories to tell.

It is no wonder that he finds himself in the media as often as he does because he talks in easy to remember quotes that have a lasting resonance.  Anyone interesting in cultivating a public image should take note of that tactic. Accordingly, I think the best way to relate the content of his presentation is in those quotes:

  • What I do is service work. (Rotary International reference)
  • The only reason to be a lawyer is to help people.
  • People come together when they need to come together. (9/11 reference)
  • Ted Bundy had no concept that we are all connected. (Like all sociopaths)
  • My father says we need people that stand between people and power.
  • I think everyone should get locked up for no reason. (As a lesson in the value of our constitution)
  • A liberal is a police officer that has been charged with a crime.
  • I was infused by my father with the concept that you should always give more than you take.

Speaking of quotes, John Henry Brown then relayed his favorite quote that he attributed to Thomas Jefferson:  “Once you give up some freedom for more security...soon you will have neither.”  I tried to fact check that one and the closest I could get was this quote:

"Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security." which I believe is attributed to Benjamin Franklin.  Good point either way.

Here is more on John Henry Brown in a recent article by Seattle Met magazine.