While I enjoyed taking the LSAT in a fit of college-senior insanity, I opted not to go to law school. So everything I know about the legal system, I've learned from watching Law & Order. Thus, I found this statement about the new Matthew Shepard report worrisome:
"The interviews [given by Shepard's killers] apparently violate the plea agreements the two men signed at their sentencing. According to reports, the men agreed never to talk to the media about the case as part of the agreement that spared them the death penalty."
This sounds like what amounts to a non-disclosure agreement being attached to a criminal proceeding. Is that SOP with pleas? And if so, why? Doesn't that make it harder for wrongly-convicted people to prove their innocence? Hugh, Beldar, Glenn, SoxBlog, Law Jedi, help me--you're my only hope!
Note: I am NOT suggesting that Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson--the men who brutally murdered Shepard--are innocent. They're obviously guilty and deserve their fate. Although I'm intellectually (if not emotionally) glad that they weren't given the death penalty, since some of us theocons really are bothered by capital punishment.
(And yes, contra Andrew Sullivan, I'm not wild about Gonzales's record--or Bush's pre-presidential glibness--concerning the death penalty. But what Sullivan seems not to understand is that Gonzales was upholding existing law, which is what he gets paid to do. What good theocons would prefer is to change the law, not tut-tut in disapproval of people who faithfully execute laws we don't like.)
2 hours ago