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Justice delayed=denied

One way that a crusading anti-death-penalty lawyer can "win" his case is to drag it out so long the client dies in prison.  Last February, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of habeas relief to Nevada murderer Robert Farmer:

Farmer committed a series of terrible, random crimes in Nevada in the early 1980s. In January 1982, Farmer killed Thomas Kane, a man whose car Farmer had stolen. Then, Farmer robbed and killed a Nevada taxidriver named Greg Gelunas. Farmer fled to Florida, where he was arrested and extradited to Nevada.
Today, however, the Ninth Circuit issued this order:

Counsel for Farmer has advised us that Farmer died in prison on April 24, 2012, while a [petition for rehearing en banc] he filed remained pending before this court. Because Farmer did not have the opportunity to exhaust the entire appellate process, including the possible pursuance of a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court, we order as follows:

1) Our opinion published at 666 F.3d 1228 is hereby vacated; 2) the petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc is denied as moot; and 3) this appeal is dismissed as moot.

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