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Justice At Last

Toying with justice finally came to an end for career criminal and ice-cold killer Herbert Smulls.  Missouri executed him, without reported incident, at about 10 p.m. It did so after the Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution granted Wednesday by the Eighth Circuit.  Reuters has the story.

The Mulls case is the latest example of what the defense bar calls zealous advocacy but any normal person would call gaming the system.  There was no doubt whatever of Smulls' guilt or of his ability to understand either what he did or why he was being punished.  This did not stop his lawyers from deliberately last-minute appeals in an exercise that is more typically called "throwing it up against the wall to see if anything will stick."

Nothing actually did stick, but that's not the point.  The point is to throw so much of it against the wall, so late in the game, that the courts will have to postpone the execution just to keep an eye on what's falling to the floor.

A sane justice system would sanction the lawyers who put on a circus like that, but that's not going to happen.  What's more likely is that Smulls' lawyers will be lionized at ACLU banquets at the Four Seasons.

Kent's earlier post is here

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