Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Death Penalty

Prosecutor of the Year

A wonderful article from the Arizona Republic discusses prosecutorial misconduct in capital cases in Arizona. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but one little part in particular knocked the wind right out of me. It discusses Noel Levy, a former “Arizona Prosecutor of the Year” who seems to have done his best over the years to put people in prison or on death row using every sketchy prosecutor tactic in the prosecution playbook. One particular case involved Ray Krone, who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Krone was convicted and sentenced to die based on a videotape about bite mark evidence that the defense didn’t have time to review. At Krone’s second trial, Levy got another conviction but only a life sentence. Krone, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Death Penalty, Prosecutors

A Waste

From this article at the Arizona Republic: I do wish I could die doing something meaningful. You know, this seems such a waste. Those were a man’s last words. He died soon after without uttering any “official” last words. He liked porterhouse steak, french fries, okra, cauliflower, salad, fruit and ice cream. He liked those things so much they were the last things he ate before we murdered him. The good folks at the prison complex where we killed him, our crackerjack “execution team,” didn’t have an easy job. The doomed man was nice enough, joking with them as they prepared to end his life, but they had a real tough time setting the two intravenous lines intended to deliver fatal toxins. They had to cut into the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Death Penalty

Our Delicate Sensibilities

There were two big car chases yesterday. One in Los Angeles ended in an arrest: One near Phoenix…not so much: The suspect in Arizona committed suicide, and the news apparently regrets the fact it didn’t cut before airing the dirty deed on live television. I’d rather not watch that stuff, but I’d rather not watch the news either. The people of Texas killed a guy earlier this week. Five days earlier, they killed another. The people of Ohio killed one that very same day. Texas also killed a guy in August, but they weren’t alone. Oklahoma did too. More importantly, so did Arizona. The good people of our fair state pumped a man full of drugs until he died. The demure little flowers whose delicate sensibilities … Read entire article »

Filed under: Death Penalty, News

The Conveyor Belt

There’s a dead person. That’s what starts the conveyor belt. People don’t just die anymore. Unless you’re a hundred years old with cancer and dementia and doctors gather around remaking about how incredible it is you’ve held on so long, death is murder. People are murdered by their greedy next of kin. They’re murdered by corrupt businesses. They’re murdered by drugs that are fun or helpful, occasionally the drugs that stop the murderers themselves from suffering. People are always murdered by an enemy of some kind. The enemy can be disease or lightning, but if it isn’t, the enemy is a person. When it is, we often still look for a person to blame. The person we find is guilty. The person must die too. The person needs … Read entire article »

Filed under: Death Penalty, Government Rants, Practice in General

Shameful

Texas likely executed an innocent man. That man, Cameron Todd Willingham, was represented at trial by David Martin, a man I now believe to be the most disloyal and generally shameful defense lawyer I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing speak. If you want to hear what he had to say about his former client on CNN, watch the video below. I wouldn’t recommend viewing it if you think you might have problems stomaching a faux cowboy in a deep state of denial proclaiming the guilt of a dead man whose life was once placed in his undeserving and likely incapable hands. The video mostly speaks for itself, but you can read some great blog posts about it here, here, here, and here. Willingham’s appellate lawyer even wrote about … Read entire article »

Filed under: Death Penalty, Ethics

Death Penalty

I often get questions from family and friends about cases in the media, especially death penalty cases. I don’t want to discuss the merits of whether or not we should have a death penalty; instead, I want to focus on process itself. People almost universally get upset over the cost and time of such cases. No doubt it is frustrating to hear about someone who committed a heinous crime and received expensive legal representation for free, and I certainly think that the system could be streamlined. I’ve heard numerous times that “we all know he (or she) is guilty, why can’t we just execute them immediately” or “why do we have to pay for their defense.” While the complete answer to the question would … Read entire article »

Filed under: Death Penalty

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