Max Soffar: Why is He Still on Death Row?

No physical evidence. No witnesses. A recanted confession. So why is Max Soffar still on death row? Kinky Friedman is on the case. Here's a snippet, go read the whole thing:

For the past 23 years, since confessing to a cold-blooded triple murder at a Houston bowling alley, Max has been at his final station on the way: the Polunsky Unit, in Livingston. But he long ago recanted that confession, and many people, including a number of Houston-area law enforcement officers, think he didn't commit the crime. They say he told the cops what they wanted to hear after three days of interrogation without a lawyer present. At the very least, they say, Max's case is an example of everything that's wrong with the system. In the words of my friend Steve Rambam, who is Max's pro bono private investigator, "I'm not anti-death penalty; I'm just anti-the-wrong-guy-getting-executed." Another observer troubled by Max's case is Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judge Harold R. DeMoss Jr., who wrote in 2002, after hearing Max's last appeal, "I have lain awake nights agonizing over the enigmas, contradictions, and ambiguities" in the record.

Chief among these Kafka-esque elements is the fact that Max's state-appointed attorney was the late Joe Cannon, who was infamous for sometimes sleeping through his clients' capital murder trials. Cannon managed to stay awake for Max's, but he did not bother to interview the one witness who might have cleared him. There are, incidentally, ten men on death row who were clients of Cannon's. Then there's the evidence—or the total lack of it..... [link via Brian at Ain't No Bad Dude.

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