Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The case of Luther Williams

What a long, strange summer it has been.

We've had three scheduled executions where substantial claims of innocence have been made (Troy Anthony Davis, who has been spared, at least temporarily; Darrell Grayson, executed by the state of Alabama last month; and Kenneth Foster, Jr., scheduled for execution later this month. We'll be talking about Foster's case a lot more in the coming days and weeks.)

There are also cases where innocence may or may not be in play, but it is fundamentally apparent that the inmate did not receive a fair trial and was not afforded full and meaningful access to appeals.

Which brings us to Luther Williams, scheduled to be executed on Aug. 23 by the state of Alabama. (Yes: Alabama is on a roll these days.)

Some facts pertaining to Luther's case:

The court denied funding for psychological testing and then paradoxically faulted Luther Williams for not providing the evidence that this testing would have revealed.

Pretrial investigation of guilt or innocence and mitigation was not done due to lack of funds.

Appropriate psychological testing had not been done due to lack of funds.

The two year window for presenting possible mental retardation was missed.

The prosecutor referred to Luther Williams as a "little black rat."

When it comes to the death penalty, it takes a lot to "one up" Texas. But as I say, Alabama is on a roll.

1 comment:

CarrieJ said...

A "little black rat"? Are you serious? ARGH!!