I also find the sleeping attorney story a bit more than suspect.No presiding judge gonna allow such disrespect in their court.
You can look it up yourself:
HOUSTON--When George McFarland was accused of robbing and killing a neighborhood grocery owner, he took the advice of an acquaintance and hired longtime criminal lawyer John E. Benn. That may prove to be a fatal mistake.
Benn was 72 years old and had not handled a capital murder trial for at least 19 years. Nor did he jump headlong into the new case--he spent four hours preparing for the 1992 trial. Benn did not examine the crime scene, interviewed no witnesses, prepared no motions, did not request that any subpoenas be issued, relied solely on what was in the prosecutor's file, and visited his client only twice.
During the 17-day trial, Benn's performance took a turn for the worse: He fell asleep.
"Benn slept during great portions of the witness testimony," juror Mary Louisa Jensen said in an affidavit five years later. "It was so blatant and disgusting that it was the subject of conversation within the jury panel a couple of times."
Months after the trial ended with a conviction and death sentence, Benn was asked at a court hearing about his snoozing. "I'm 72 years old," he said. "I customarily take a short nap in the afternoon."
High Court Denies Texas Death Appeal
Court Declines to Intervene in 'Sleeping Lawyer Case'
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 3, 2002; 2:52 PM
Declining to intervene in a case that had focused national attention on the quality of legal help for death-penalty defendants, the Supreme Court announced today that it will not hear Texas's plea to reinstate the conviction of a death-row inmate whose lawyer slept through much of his 1983 murder trial.
>>>>>Finally justice was done by an "activist" jurist<<<<<
NEW ORLEANS, La. (Reuters) -- A federal appeals court overturned a Texas death penalty on Monday for a man whose attorney slept through much of his trial for murder, in a case that has raised questions about justice in the state that leads the nation in executions.
The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Calvin Burdine, 48, should get a new trial because his court-appointed lawyer, Joe Cannon, repeatedly dozed off during the 1984 trial that ended with Burdine being sentenced to death.
``A defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel is violated when that defendant's counsel is repeatedly unconscious through not insubstantial portions of the defendant's capital murder trial,'' said the court in an opinion supported by nine justices and opposed by five.
The decision overturned an Oct. 27, 2000 opinion by a three-judge panel of the court which upheld Burdine's conviction on grounds that Cannon had slept, but not at crucial times in the trial.