Ten Social Media Sex Secrets for Lawyers

This post isn’t really about social media sex secrets for lawyers. I don’t even know one. But experience teaches that three things sell online: sex, social media, and lists.

This post is about Hank Skinner. Hank is going to be executed in about four hours unless Governor Perry or the U.S. Supreme Court grants a reprieve. The chances of that are somewhere between slim and none.

I am not morally opposed to the death penalty. I recognize that “thou shalt not kill” is not a rule that can always be practically followed. There might be people who cannot be deterred or incapacitated by a lesser penalty. If we could ensure that only such people were executed, I would not oppose the death penalty.

But the mere possibility that factually innocent people might be executed is a deal-breaker for me. Death is different than other penalties, and we should be certain before imposing it.

Guilt, in death penalty cases, is determined by a death-qualified jury. A death-qualified jury is, by definition, not a representative subset of society. It is selected for bloodthirstiness. Once this jury has decided that a person is guilty and deserves killing, that decision is not reviewed. The legal rulings of the trial judge are reviewed, as are the performance of counsel and the conduct of the prosecution. But unless evidence of factual innocence shows ineffective assistance, prosecutorial misconduct, or some other Constitutional violation, it will not save a person from execution.

Whether you are a fan or a foe of the death penalty, you should favor the untested material being tested. Either it puts the final nails in Skinner’s coffin (as the DA thought it would), it shows nothing material, or it raises doubt about the identity of the killer. In any case, it’s better to know that all of the facts are known.

(Actually, death penalty foes might not want the untested material tested. Two out of three of the possible results are unhelpful to death penalty abolition. But they should press for it to be tested—fight like hell and hope to lose.)

Sure, it requires some delay, but Hank Skinner and his lawyers didn’t just start asking for the untested DNA evidence in his case to be tested. He’s been asking for a long time. This is not a tactic to merely delay his execution.

So here’s the point of this post: contact Governor Perry. His office can be reached via the form here. Or by telephone at (512)463-1782. Or by fax at (512)463-1849. Or on twitter at @GovernorPerry.

And feel free to publicize this post just as widely as you would one that contained a list of ten social media sex secrets for lawyers.

0 responses to “Ten Social Media Sex Secrets for Lawyers”

  1. Easy to sound glib now, however, I was fairly confident Rob would get the stay, and if not a stay a pretty ugly dissent from the denial of same. There are several other writ/habeas lawyers of his caliber, but I’d be hard pressed to say that their is anyone better in the business.

  2. Death qualified juries are based upon the same principles that all juries are, that being that each juror must be able to apply any of the possible sentencing options in the case before them.

    The translation “thou shalt not kill” is a bit misleading. The correct translation is closer to thou shalt not murder or though shalt not commit an improper killing. Neither the death penalty, nor killing in self defense, not killing in a just war have ever been prohibited, as is clear from all of the teachings, both before and after the 10 commandments passage.

    I was not suprised by the stay in this case, anymore than I would be in any other death case. Stays are the rule, not the exception.

    It is my understanding that SCOTUS didn’t stay based upon the merits, but they wanted more time to review the case, which to me, really means they DO want to consider the merits.

  3. Clearly, death-sentence qualified juries are not the same as other juries. When you report to serve on a jury, for instance, you’re not questioned about whether you support the idea of prisons or parole or probation, whether you think the particular statute of the criminal code (bank fraud, rape, etc.) is fair or appropriate, etc. For a death-sentence qualified jury, the prosecutor gets a chance to rule out plenty of people who would otherwise use up all his peremptory challenges. He then gets MORE peremptory challenges to further skew his jury. It also gives the jury that is selected the clear signal that the prosecutor thinks his case is so undeniable that he’s going for the ultimate punishment; it replaces the presumption of innocence with the presumption of heinous guilt. I am very grateful to Mark Bennett and I admire him greatly. Lawyers like Mark Bennett help change perceptions of lawyers for the better.

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