23 March 2004

"Two Durham lawyers who represented death row inmate Donald John Scanlon were "ineffective" and may not handle any more capital murder trials for poor suspects, a judge ruled Friday."

You know, I swore I'd not volunteer to take cases involving the death penalty until I had at least 5 years under my belt. Well, I'm now in my fifth year so I'm going to have to start thinking seriously about it. It's probably the most important of jobs for a lawyer but it's incredibly time consuming and would seem to be emotionally very draining. Then, if you lose the next several years are spent listening to other lawyers pick apart every single decision you made and declaring you incompetent in appeals and habeus proceedings. And I'm just not cocky enough to believe that I never make mistakes.

Anyway, I don't qualify under the standards set forth to practice capital defense. Of course, almost no one I know qualifies under those standards. I suspect they are quite often waived.

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