Friday, January 8, 2010

One Last Time

They killed him yesterday, Abdullah Sharif Kaazim Mahdi.

It was the first killing of 2010, followed quickly by the killings of Kenneth Mosley in Texas and Gerald Bordelon in Louisiana. A trifecta to start the year.

I've written about Mahdi a lot in the last week. With apologies to the memory of Mosley and Bordelon, I need to do it once more. It's not that my former client is special - at least, he's not any more special than the others. Oh, there were and are the peculiar facts of his case, but every case has peculiar, particular facts. That's one of the things about the men (and the few women) on death row. They're individuals.

Whether they're factually guilty or not, whether they had competent counsel or not, whether they are the worst of the worst or not, they're individuals. Each has a story distinct from the crime for which he or she has been condemned. And for each there was a particular crime that led to the condemnation.

I write so much about Mahdi because of the particularly shabby way the appeal I took for him failed. But I also write about him because of Charlotte Darwish.

She is the widow of Sohail Darwish, the man Mahdi killed. And it was she, you'll recall from a few days ago, who noted that with the emptiness that will come from his death, there will now be two lives down the drain: Darwish's and Mahdi's.

I said then that you should listen to her. And I quoted some of her words from the Toledo Blade.

Now you really can and should listen to her.

Pay attention, because what she has to say is stark and clear. Death is death. It solves nothing. It numbs. And it makes new victims - this time Mahdi's family. It's an important interview. And good for WTOL for making it available.


  1. Hi Jeff,
    My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your former client to the State. Maybe I'm being melodramatic, but it may be that only another death penalty defense attorney GETS what this feels like, and I want you to know that I -- and your fellow Capital Lawyers out here -- stand with you.
    God bless you, Brother Gamso, and take care,
    Terry Lenamon

  2. Terry,

    Thank you. I know you (and others) do understand. It's one terrific community of death penalty lawyers.