Does it matter who we kill? Source: NYTimes.com Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/19/us/19death.html Title: "Lawyer Reveals Secret, Toppling Death Sentence", by Adam Liptak Date: January 19, 2008 Maybe there's a reason so many lawyers are going to hell. Some days, it would seem, that's their only choice. This is not the first time the courts have saved Mr. Atkins' life. In 2002, his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned its prior opinion and spared Atkins' life in ruling against the execution of the mentally retarded. While Virginia contends that Atkins is not mentally retarded, the issue may well be rendered moot by this latest decision. Citing prosecutorial misconduct, a state court commuted Atkins' sentence. York County attorney Eileen Addison denies the misconduct, and has described it in a court filing as "false and libelous". Yet there seems to be fifteen minutes missing from the recording; the session start and end times are two hours apart, and there is only 105 minutes recorded. So what has happened here? Is the commonwealth satisfied as long as somebody dies? Or should they make sure they've got the right guy? The law, apparently, is specific about who dies, and the accusation, if credible, casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of the prosecution's contention that Atkins was the trigger. So if the people are going to kill someone, what right do they have to be confident they're killing the right person according to the law? Or does it just not matter?