Justice too long delayed is justice denied.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
Last week we learned that our client had died only fifteen months after his release from prison. He had been sent there at age 16 to serve a term of life plus twenty years, after being convicted of murder and robbery in a 1972 jury trial that lasted only two days. Jurors in his case had been told that they were the judges of the facts and the law—that the Court’s instructions on the presumption of innocence, the State’s burden of proof, and the need for their verdict to be based solely on the evidence were “advisory,” and that, in any event, they were not bound by this “advice.”