Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Stephen Bright Has His Say

Posted by Maggie on January 24, 2008

As you may have noticed if you keep track of the blog, I am quite concerned about the way GPDSC is handling pretty much everything these days. Sometimes I just go off, other times I try to give them a benefit of a doubt since I can’t see their inner workings. Often I just don’t know that my voice matters much in the debate. But a voice that does is speaking out and I’m very pleased he is.

Stephen Bright is president and senior counsel of the Southern Center for Human Rights. They’ve done great and significant work. They’re challenging Georgia’s sex offender residency restrictions. They’re fighting jails and prisons all over the South for information and proper standards. Bright himself argued Snyder v. Louisiana in December before the US Supreme Court.

Bright has given us his feelings before on the Nichols case, and now he has another editorial on the subject in today’s Daily Report. He lays out the state of things, how we got here, and what else is going on in the state. I don’t want to summarize because he does such a good job of laying things out and you really should read it yourself. Here’s what he thinks of the recent substitution of Nichols’ counsel:

Only one purpose could be served by the replacement of Nichols’ lead counsel, a nationally respected lawyer, with a lawyer who knows nothing about the case—to have a lead counsel who will keep a lid on costs by doing without things that those now representing Nichols believe are necessary for his defense.

His main argument is that by pinching pennies we are abandoning the Constitution, and he does a convincing job. It all makes me wonder if this case will be fought and fought and fought and fought for years before we ever see a trial.

Update: Welcome to those of you coming in from Capital Defense Weekly, StandDown, and CrimLaw. I appreciate the incoming links. The problems we’re facing in Georgia right now should be a cautionary tale of sorts to others and they’re yet another sign of the problems we face in Death Penalty cases. One of my earliest experiences as an attorney before I came to Georgia was a tour of a death chamber by the prison warden. It was one of the more memorable experiences of my life, not to mention my practice. With all that’s going on, I don’t spend nearly enough time talking about the bigger death penalty issues. Thankfully, other blogs are doing great work in that regard.

One Response to “Stephen Bright Has His Say”

  1. […] over at Of Counsel notes the indefatigible Steve Bright has weighed in, once again, on the GPDSC […]

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