Monday, June 2, 2008

"That little nigger deserves the chair."


Harsh words right? What if they came from your lawyer, in a case that would decide whether you'd die or spend the rest of your life in prison? With his execution coming up on June 4th, Curtis Osborne tried to get the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to ask themselves whether or not that statement and inadequate representation was enough to spare his life. However, according to the state, it was not.

Osborne is a former drug addict, who, in 1990 confessed to the double murder of a man and his girlfriend over a $400 debt. The court appointed lawyer, according to some of his clients, was more famous for entering guilty pleas than actually fighting cases. Not taking the necessary time or effort to defend a capital murder case, the lawyer, Johnny Mostiler, let Osborne get convicted and sentenced to death. Years later, a former client of Mostiler said he overheard the lawyer say, "That little nigger deserves the chair," and that he wouldn't tell Osborne that the state offered a plea bargain that would have sentenced him to life in prison.

Mostiler told judges that Osborne had denied the plea bargain and even though Osborne said he never got word of it, judges took the lawyers word over his clients'.

Osborne just got his last appeal denied and is scheduled for execution this Wednesday. His former lawyer died in 2000, so how he handled this case can not be questioned directly. The courts have said that as far as appeals go, whether Osborne had a bigoted lawyer wasn't relevant. They said he waited too long to file his appeal and that his claim was barred from review.

I'm not saying that the man doesn't deserve to be punished for murdering two people, but life in prison is punishment enough. This man has spent the last 18 years in prison awaiting his death. More importantly he spent it wondering whether he would have had a chance at life had he gotten a more suitable lawyer. With better representation, would Osborne have been sentenced differently? Maybe, maybe not. But in a capital case, when his lawyer felt he deserved to die, Osborne's life was over back during his initial trial. Johnny Mostiler is finally getting his wish, and unfortunately for Curtis Osborne, that means he's finally getting the chair his own lawyer said he deserved.

-Ant

7 comments:

  1. HAHAHAHAHA karma is a bitch

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  2. Curtis Osborne is my dad. I am his only child. My father was my best friend and was taken from me four days after my high school graduation. I am now 22 yrs old and I still feel anger towards the representation of the state. When they say " if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you.", I pray it isn't a racist bastard without a heartbeat. I lost my father and my best friend. I have been in the army now for five years and recently returned from serving a year in Afghanistan. For what? To fight for a country's freedom who didn't bother to fight for me.

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