Welcome to "Sinner's Advocate" 

Some about the Author

Mr. Hartley is a practicing criminal defense attorney in Utah.  He has had his own practice since 2008.

(See "About the Author" page for more information).

He finds purpose and meaning in defending both the falsely accused and the actually guilty.  He believes there are strong, moral justifications for doing both.  

"Sinner's Advocate: An LDS Perspective on the Morality of Criminal Defense"

$ 20.00 USD

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About the Book

"Sinner's Advocate" provides an insightful and detailed answer to the age-old question, "Why defend the guilty?"

Specifically, people of faith frequently ask Mr. Hartley, a criminal defense attorney serving all of Utah, "How can you justify defending a criminal and be a good, church-going person?"

Writing to a Latter-day Saint audience (members of the Mormon faith, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Mr. Hartley explains the legal justifications and, more importantly, the moral justifications for defending both those accused of crime and those actually guilty of crime.

Using the Lord God Jesus Christ as our standard for what's right (who "died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6)), Mr. Hartley explains about defending those who are actually guilty: 

"We need to better follow Him as His disciples and Christians.  How we treat criminals can indicate our level of commitment.  Rehabilitating them and being anxiously engaged in the good cause of healing them from their spiritual sickness can lead to the end of their criminal activity."  Sinner's Advocate, p. 150. 

Defending the guilty from anything that would keep them from being rehabilitated is what Mr. Hartley sees as the paramount challenge.  He finds the following scripture insightful with this explanation:

"[T]his idea of perceiving criminals and sinners as sick and in need of healing...is repeated....In more forceful introductory language, the Book of Mormon records the words of our Savior as follows:

Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord, and your God.  Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick.  (Moroni 8:8, emphasis added.)"  Sinner's Advocate, p. 137.    

Instead of viewing sinners and criminals as the "scum of the earth," our Lord sees them as sick.  He sees Himself as a Physician to heal them, not as an executioner that metes out retributive punishment to deter them.  He has the expectation that they can be cured without such discouragement.

Mr. Hartley sees his work as essentially the same.  For those who are guilty, they should receive the best rehabilitative help available in order for a long term solution to the problem of criminal conduct. Successful rehabilitation will most effectively reduce future victims.

He believes in the same hope that criminals can be cured with proper encouragement to change toward good behavior.  This is in stark contrast to the highly punitive consequences society frequently feels are the most appropriate reaction we should take toward those who have done us wrong to stop them from their bad behavior.

Mr. Hartley also believes the falsely accused can be righted from the wrongs with which they're dealing.  He demands that there be a high degree of certainty from the factual evidence in order to protect them from erroneous convictions.

"Sinner's Advocate" gives examples from Mr. Hartley's own profession and from other cases to reinforce the concepts in his book.  He also cites frequently to scripture.  It is a must read for any who have ever wondered why someone could morally defend a criminal.

 You may also visit the author's professional website:


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