A Man May be Executed Because An Alcoholic Lawyer Botched His Case

In 1997, a Georgia jury imposed a death sentence on Robert Wayne Holsey for murdering a sheriff’s deputy. Holsey’s defense was led by Andy Price, an alcoholic attorney who drank a quart of vodka a night during the trial, faced his own criminal charges and was eventually disbarred and sentenced to prison for stealing from one of his clients. The death penalty is temporarily on hold in Georgia pending a ruling on whether the public is entitled to know how lethal injection drugs are made and who is providing them for executions. Marc Bookman, director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, looks at Holsey’s case and some of the problems with private court-appointed counsel in death penalty trials. His article “This Man Is About to Die Because an Alcoholic Lawyer Botched His Case” is in Mother Jones.