All posts tagged: death penalty

To Err is Human

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing The Systen

I really think you should take time to view the PBS documentary The Confessions. It tells the shocking story of the grave injustice done to four sailors in Norfolk, Virginia in  1997. ( A young  navy wife, Michelle Bosko, had been found raped and murdered in her apartment. Based on the “hunch” of one of her friends,  the police  started investigating a Navy enlisted man, Daniel Williams, for the crime. Williams at first denied any involvement, […]

Irreversible Errors

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Repairing the System / Repairing The Systen

Thomas Thompson was executed by lethal injection eighteen years ago this month at the age of 43. After you read my post from a year ago I think you will agree that there is an excellent chance that Thompson never committed the crime that triggered his death. My brother, Quin Denvir, was Thompson’s lawyer. Shortly before his death, Quin wrote Governor Brown asking that he end executions in California. I know that, as […]

Thurgood, Tony, and Quin

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My brother Quin died last week. The death of a sibling may not sound like an appropriate topic for a law blog, but, as this obit makes clear, , Quin was not only a lawyer, but a very special one. Quin is best remembered for saving the Unabomber’s life against his client’s wishes. But mostly his practice was appellate in nature. It included three arguments in the Supreme Court, more than 25 arguments in […]

The Accidental Lawyer

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If there was a competition for the greatest civil rights/civil liberties lawyer of the second half of the Twentieth Century, the name Anthony Amsterdam would quickly surface. While Amsterdam did not wage single-handed the fight against the constitutionality of the death penalty, those who joined him would be the first to recognize that his creativity and stamina were central to the effort. Pure chance placed me in a Little Rock, Arkansas courtroom in the summer […]

Some Judgments Are Too Final

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Heroes / Repairing the System

Here is a photo of Thomas Thompson who was executed at San Quentin in 1998. Thompson was sentenced to death after being convicted of murder and rape in Orange County, California. The death sentence was voided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because Thompson had not received effective assistance of counsel at his trial. That court also concluded that the prosecution had “manipulated witnesses and evidence” against him in “a desire to win at […]