Forget the stoner judge and the fact that Warren Summerlin's first defense lawyer had a one-night stand with the prosecutor. It was bad lawyering that gave the 9th Circuit reason to jettison his death sentence. By not inquiring into Summerlin's history of mental illness, his trial lawyer "utterly failed in his duty to investigate and develop potentially mitigating evidence," the panel wrote. "This is a case where if you wrote it as a movie, people would say it's unbelievable," said a defense attorney.
In Twisted Tale, Death Penalty Tossed due to Bad Lawyer
October 19, 2005
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