The fundamental role of the defense lawyer is to stand with the individual and vigorously defend his rights – especially in the face of damning evidence and community outrage. Johnson has taken on many such unpopular causes. That was clearly the case in 2009 when Johnson took on the representation of Raymond Palomino, a young man charged with second-degree murder in Boulder County.
This difficult case provoked significant pre-trial coverage. The Colorado Daily carried an extensive article about the police investigation on April 23, 2009: “Police: Friend of stabbing victim didn’t notice wounds.” The trial involved the classic battle over the question of Palomino’s intentions and motives at the time he stabbed the victim, as the Boulder Daily Camera reported in a January 26, 2010 article: “Longmont homicide: Defense Attorney says Raymond Palomino didn’t mean to kill.”
Johnson’s client was convicted of the charge. Months later, the parties were then involved in a long and contentious sentencing hearing as Johnson continued to challenge the version of events advanced by the prosecutors. That emotionally charged proceeding – in which Johnson zealously argued for a reduced sentence for his client – was detailed in an April 30, 2010 Boulder Daily Camera article: “Longmont murderer Raymond Palomino gets 48 years.”