October 29, 2002
Judge declines to intervene in Burdine case

Federal Judge David Hittner has declined to force the appointment of Calvin Burdine's appeals lawyer to his retrial case, agreeing with the argument that forcing the change would enjoin the trial. Looks like I called that one wrong. The ACLU is appealing the ruling, which may delay the start of the retrial.

While I understand Hittner's ruling, I have to ask: Doesn't it make sense to close off this potential avenue for appeal now? The whole reason for this retrial is that Burdine got essentially no representation in 1983. Is it in anyone's interest to risk another retrial? Unless I'm missing something, it looks to me like the reason that attorney McGlasson needs to be appointed by Judge Hoffman to represent Calvin Burdine is that it's the only way McGlasson can get paid for the work, as Burdine is indigent. The lawyer who is representing him now has agreed to work pro bono. Is it worth all this trouble to avoid paying the defense attorney?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 29, 2002 to Crime and Punishment | TrackBack