death penalty advocates Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) led a successful effort to include language in the Patriot Act last year that let the attorney general, rather than [federal] judges, decide whether states were ensuring death row inmates had adequate legal representation [in postconviction proceedings].
DOJ is seeking comment (yeah, right) on the proposed rule.
David (whom I envision reading the Times as he lounges on the beach in former-PD Paradise) points out that our current AG has “shown himself at best incompetent and at worst a perjurer.” Fair enough.
But never mind Alberto Gonzales (he’s not long for office anyway). If you care at all about the appearance of fairness in the system, you don’t let a prosecutor decide whether states are ensuring adequate representation in death penalty cases.