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By Daniel Dodson
NACDL News columns.
NACDL has voiced its opposition to the nomination of Alabama Attorney
General William Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
In a June 10 letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin
Hatch (R-UT) and ranking Democratic member Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT),
President Lawrence S. Goldman expresses concern that Pryor’s stated
views on the capital punishment system “bear directly on [his] ability
to impartially consider direct and collateral appeals in death penalty
For instance, according to the letter, Pryor, in response to the
Judiciary Committee’s follow-up questions after his testimony on the
Innocence Protection Act, stated that appeals “are crucial only for
Monday-morning quarterbacks who try to second-guess things and create
issues that are probably not real in the first place.”
The letter also cites Pryor’s obliviousness to problems with Alabama’s
death penalty system, where more than one-fifth of defendants lack
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