Death by lawyer

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George W. is confident that justice was done in every single execution carried out in Texas during his time as governor — 146 of them, as of Wednesday. That’s a relief, because the picture’s not quite so clear in North Carolina, where earlier this week a lawyer admitted purposely fumbling the appeal of a convicted murderer because he didn’t like the man. His former client is due to be executed in December.

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An Associated Press story in the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS reports that Attorney David B. Smith was aware that his co-counsel, Steven Allen, misunderstood the deadline for the appeal, but failed to correct him, and stalled to avoid meetings. A date for Tucker’s execution was set after the defense missed the deadline.

Smith, overcome with remorse, confessed a week later. Tucker’s case is still up in the air, though prosecutors continue to oppose both his appeal and attempts to replace his attorneys. Lucky this kind of thing never happens in Texas.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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