The Cost of Poor Advice

Bush says he's compassionate. So why did he pass up a chance to help the poor get decent legal help?

Here are just a couple of tales from the rough frontier of Texas justice: a teenager in Bexar County charged with drug crimes last September sat in jail for a month before his first scheduled meeting with a court-appointed lawyer. That attorney never showed up; and by the time the boy met the next one, he'd been behind bars more than three months. Andrew Cantu of Abilene was executed in February even though his third court-assigned appellate lawyer--the first two withdrew--didn't know how to find Cantu in prison, didn't do any investigation of the case and was unaware of the deadline...

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