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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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