Best Lawyer

John Henry Browne

Brash, supremely confident, always ready with an outrageous remark, John Henry Browne is the defense attorney prosecutors love to hate and clients love to hire—especially the guilty ones. Now retirement age, Browne—whose client list includes deadly arsonist Martin Pang and Chinatown killer Benjamin Ng (who both avoided the death penalty)—just earned a plea-bargained, 7 1/2 year sentence for Colton Harris-Moore, the "Barefoot Bandit" who chalked up almost 70 violations during his crime spree from Washington to the Bahamas. Now Browne's all over the international airwaves working up a defense for what could be his most infamous case yet: the defense of Robert Bales, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord staff sergeant charged with slaughtering 17 Afghan civilians in March. Browne immediately challenged the Pentagon to back up its claims, wondering if such a mass murder actually happened and, if so, whether the Army's policies caused it to happen. Browne hints this could be his last case: "If I can help create a discussion about the war, that would be a great way for me to go out." RICK ANDERSON 108 S. Washington St., 388-0777,

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