Tamayo Execution Reveals Real Problems With US Capital Punishment

Americans joke that the death penalty is known as capital punishment because only those without capital get punished. Virtually all the people on death row are poor.

George Farland is waiting to die for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. His state-appointed lawyer spent just a few hours preparing for the trial. At key moments in court, he fell asleep. “He would snore so hard he almost fell off the chair”. The judge refused to wake him, saying there was nothing in the constitution that required lawyers to be awake. In Louisiana, public defenders are funded solely through parking fines. “It’s become so ridiculous that one of the public defenders invested in a speed gun”, states lawyer Richard Bourke. Now some death row inmates are turning to law students in a bid to overturn their convictions.

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