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What Would People Think?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Today My State Commits Murder

Barring any last-minute miracles, the State of Georgia will, at 7:00 PM EDT tonight, execute Robert Dale Conklin for murder. Nobody denies that Conklin killed his former lover, George Crooks, and then cut up his body to hide it. Yes, that is gruesome. But before you condemn the man, consider these facts:

1. The Fulton County Medical Examiner, who testified in this case for the State, has filed an affidavit saying he believes the murder was committed in self-defense. Why didn't he say that at trial? He was never given the chance. He told the prosecutor what he thought, but that didn't change anything. And the defense lawyer? I don't think he ever knew. That's probably because....

2. His attorney was given 37 days from the arraignment to the trial. To give you some perspective, it usually takes years or at least months to prepare for a death penalty case. Not 37 days.

3. In that brief time, his attorney was unable to get a handle on the complex medical testimony. The judge DENIED his request for funds to hire his own expert, a clear violation of Ake v. Oklahoma.....I don't know why that issue didn't win on appeal.

4. Conklin's attorney didn't put up one witness in the sentencing phase of the trial to argue against death. Not one. Not even a mother saying "please don't kill my child." Contrast this with a recent death sentence the U.S. Supreme Court overturned when the attorney didn't investigate his client's horrible childhood for mitigating evidence and ONLY put up the "please don't kill my child" defense. Well, the attorney here didn't even do that.

So Conklin got a rushed, hapharzard, inept excuse for a trial which ignored the very real possibility that he acted in self-defense and thus shouldn't even be in prison (except maybe serving time for what he did to the body afterwards), certainly not killed.

Tonight, blood will be on my State's hands.


  • Ah, the death penalty. How it sucks. Is it just me, or does this case sure seem like a violation of "due process"?

    By Blogger Mike, at 7/13/2005 12:18 PM  

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