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Sloppy lawyers failing clients on death row

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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:18 PM
Original message
Sloppy lawyers failing clients on death row
Dubya must be very proud. :cry:

"Sheltered by an indifferent Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, lawyers appointed to handle appeals for death row inmates routinely bungle the job, submitting work that falls far below professional standards, frequently at taxpayer expense.

Some appeals are incomplete, incomprehensible or improperly argued. Others are duplicated, poorly, from previous appeals.

Whatever their condition, these pieces of shoddy legal work have been tolerated by the state's highest criminal court for 11 years during which 273 men and women were executed despite a state law requiring the court to ensure that the condemned receive competent legal help.

The court has failed in that obligation, allowing lawyers to submit sloppy, lazy and inferior work with little oversight and no fear of consequences, according to an Austin American-Statesman examination that raises troubling questions about the quality of death penalty justice in the nation's leading execution state.

"People aren't being executed; they're being murdered by their lawyers," said Don Vernay, a New Mexico appeals lawyer who represents several Texas death row inmates. "I've been doing this for 20 years. I'm no wet-behind-the-ears law school graduate, but I have never seen anything this bad."

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   Replies to this thread
  - "they're being murdered by their lawyers."  ThomCat   Oct-30-06 05:21 PM   #1 
     - I hope...  zuzu98   Oct-30-06 06:51 PM   #2 
        - Court appointed attorneys.  ThomCat   Oct-30-06 07:12 PM   #3 
ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. "they're being murdered by their lawyers."
I've believed this for many years. Those lawyers don't get paid enough to care. They don't even work directly for the client, but for the state. And they're usually the lowest tier of lawyers.

The people who insist that we absolutely must have a death penalty are also the people who think it's a crime to give any time, attention, or money to the people facing death row. Because they're definitely all murders, don't you know, and it nobody should have any sympathy for murderers.
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zuzu98 Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I hope...
... that your comments are directed specifically to these court-appointed lawyers in Texas, and not Public Defenders or court-appointed lawyers in general.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Court appointed attorneys.
I recognize that not all court appointed attorneys are lazy, poor quality lawyers.

I also recognize that people spend their careers as court appointed attorneys are either lazy, poor quality lawyers, or else they are very amazingly dedicated people with masochistic tendencies.

People on death row seem to get that first kind of attorney. Which is how they end up on death row.
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