The Champion

March 2003 , Page 54 

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RICO Report

By Barry Tarlow

Read more RICO Report columns.

Texas justice: Worse than reality TV, it's real

Never doubt that a pro-prosecution judge can take a protection created to preserve the appearance of justice and transform it into a bludgeon or sword with which to attack the defense. That's justice. Texas style.

The background of the sleeping lawyer case is well known to anyone who remained awake for more than five minutes over the last few years. In contrast to O.J. Simpson, Calvin Burdine was represented by a different type of dream team. After a trial that lasted less than 13 hours, and during which his lawyer slept for substantial portions, Calvin Burdine was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. The late Joe Cannon, it seems, enjoyed an occasional snooze. When the testimony got boring, he did what jurors sometimes do in that situation he nodded off for a bit. Never mind that his client was on trial for his life, charged with a capital murder not only in the nation's most death-happy state, but i

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