Sotomayor's Inspiration? Perry Mason

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2009 2:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – Sonia Sotomayor’s zeal for the law comes from the tube, the Los Angeles Times reports. The former prosecutor credits for her conversion a Perry Mason episode where the titular defense attorney “proved his client innocent and got the actual murderer to confess,” the Supreme Court nominee told senators today. “Perry said to the prosecutor, ‘It must cause you some pain having expended all that effort and to have the charges dismissed.’” Not so.

“The prosecutor looked up and said, ‘No, my job as a prosecutor is to do justice, and justice is served when a guilty man is convicted and an innocent man is not,’” Sotomayor continued. “And I thought to myself, that’s quite amazing.” Sotomayor said she herself had dropped cases when the evidence was clearly insufficient: “That TV character said something that motivated my choices in life.”