Normally I like to unleash my bile and vitriol at the stupidities I see in today’s media and political discourse. But not today. No. Today is about the person who simply HAS to be the worst actual real defense lawyer in the world. And I wouldn’t have known a thing about him if I hadn’t stopped channel surfing because I thought I saw Randy Quaid…It looked like Anderson Cooper was interviewing Randy Quaid. And Randy Quaid was wearing a cowboy hat. I thought maybe it might have something to do with that bizarre hotel story in Marfa where he skipped out on his bill and got arrested. But no. This wasn’t a character actor playing up some goofy Texas stereotype. It was a real person more than living up to it. He was, specifically a defense attorney in Texas named David Martin. And, if you’ve retained his services you are in all likelihood either in prison or dead. The interview begins with him apologizing “for checking cows.” He is wearing a ten-gallon cowboy hat. It only gets worse from there. He was being interviewed by a Naperville employment attorney about the innocent man executed in Texas for setting his house on fire and killing his children. It’s a story that has been in the news lately because the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, has gotten involved – going so far as to stall any investigation into the possibility of Texas being the first state to openly be able to claim the murder of an innocent man – by kicking person after person off the commission created to investigate the case. The executed man was Cameron Todd Willingham. He was no role model. But neither are lots of people. He might not have been guilty either. His “lawyer” was David Martin. And he was not on television to defend his client – but to attack him. Relentlessly. And he declared even the possibility of his innocence to be “hogwash” and “absurd.” Absurd seems to be a big word for him – as he used it frequently as a rejoinder for everything. David Martin – worst defense lawyer in the world – is quoted in the New Yorker as saying that “98% of the time my clients are guilty as sin.” Which is all fine and good. This is America and I am a fan of freedom of speech and personal opinion. But I’m also a fan of justice. And, as expert after expert after expert have come forward and made abundantly clear – an innocent man, who tragically lost his three children in a fire, lost his freedom and his life – thanks, in part, to the WORLD’S WORST DEFENSE LAWYER and a crap sandwich of “evidence” bordering on the criminally ignorant. (For example, two details that led to Cameron Todd Willingham’s demise: he had an Iron Maiden poster in his house (he was 20 years old at the time the house burned), which the prosecution drummed up to mean that – rather than being a fan of heavy metal – he was obsessed with violence; Also, he had a tattoo of a skull on his arm. Bad taste perhaps; but not indication of mass murder
Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is a non-profit organization with the primary goal of mobilizing statewide support for a moratorium on executions in Texas. Significant death penalty reform in Texas, including a moratorium on executions, is a viable goal if the public is educated on the death penalty system and is encouraged to contact their elected representatives to urge passage of moratorium legislation.
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