WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says a death row inmate can't change his court-appointed appeals lawyer because he didn't like the lawyer's defense tactics.
The justices on Monday turned away the appeal from Kenneth Clair, who was sentenced to death in California in 1987 for burglary and murder.
Clair wanted to change his federal public defender in 2005 because he says they were trying to stop his execution instead of trying to prove his innocence. A federal judge denied his request but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision.
The justices ruled unanimously that the appeals court's decision was incorrect
Justice Elena Kagan wrote that Clair's request came just as a judge was about to make a final ruling so any change would have been too late.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.