Public Defender Gets Case to Supreme Court

Lethal-injection appeal filed by 29-year-old on docket next week
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jan 1, 2008 10:39 PM CST
This photo released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows death row inmate Michael Anthony Rodrigurz, one of the "Texas 7," convicts who escaped from a state prison in December 2000 and killed...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – When the Supreme Court hears a case on the legality of a method of capital punishment
next week—for the first time in over a century—it will be largely thanks to the toils of a 29-year-old assistant public defender, AP reports. David Barron filed the appeal on behalf of two Kentucky death row inmates, arguing that the three-cocktail lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

A Billerica, Mass., native who graduated from Brooklyn Law school in 2003, Barron tells AP he draws professional hope from fact that the Red Sox won the World Series after 86 years of failure. Legal experts chalk up Barron's success to the fact that the trial court heard comprehensive testimony from over 20 experts on both sides of the fence. But he won't get to argue the case himself—for that, Kentucky is bringing in a seasoned Washington lawyer.