The Opposite of Justice or Kafka Swallows His Tongue

If interested at all in capital punishment as currently practiced in the United States, you should read David R. Dow’s work. The SLATE article sums up nicely the Kafkabsurdity of the State of Texas (of all jurisdictions) suspending Dow from his zealous defense of the condemned …

SLATE. Revenge, Not Justice – Texas’ brazen attempt to silence one of its most effective death penalty defense lawyers.   By Dahlia Lithwick

“One of the sad truths of the capital defense business is that some trial lawyers who show up to defend their clients have been known to sleep through their trials, fail to interview witnesses, or are too drunk to do their jobs. And yet reviewing courts almost invariably determine that such lawyers provided perfectly competent defense. As one Texas judge put it in the face of such allegations: “The Constitution does not require perfection in trial representation.” So, for instance, judges in Houston continued to appoint lawyer Jerome Godinich to represent capital defendants even as he missed one filing deadline after another, depriving his clients of crucial judicial review.  That there is really no such thing as an ineffective lawyer is one of the cardinal rules of the death penalty machine. But dare to be an effective one? Well, that’s another story…”


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