Groups cite inadequate funds to defend death row inmate
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Three national criminal defense associations, a civil rights law firm and the American Bar Association are all supporting a Missouri death row inmate's claim that the appointment of new attorneys in his case is meaningless without adequate funding.
All five groups filed amicus briefs last week with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on behalf of Mark Christeson, convicted of killing a central Missouri woman and her two children in 1998.
Christeson was hours away from execution in 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution because Christeson's original trial attorneys missed the deadline for a federal appeal. Virtually all capital cases are appealed through the federal courts.
New lawyers were appointed, and a district court agreed to provide $10,000; the attorneys had sought $161,000.
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