The Strategy Unfolds
When the current was turned off my father's rigid body suddenly slumped in the chair, and it perhaps occurred to the witnesses that what they had taken for the shuddering spasming movements of his life for God knows how many seconds was instead a portrait of electric current, normally invisible, moving through a field of resistance.
-- E. L. DOCTOROW, The Book of Daniel
The initial plotters of the Fund's strategy-- Heffron, Clark, and myself--concluded immediately that neither politicians nor judges would welcome LDF's challenge to capital punishment, for the most prominent characteristic of the legal apparatus that did the condemning was general refusal to confront what it was doing. Legislators did not feel responsible for the death penalty because the law rarely required it; selection of the condemned was left to juries and judges. Prosecuting attorneys told themselves that they only presented the state's case in the courts. Jurors often believed that trial judges would correct matters if they acted improperly. The trial judge, on the other hand, felt that the life- death decision was in the hands of the jury. If he did make an error in handling the case, surely the appellate courts would set it right. Courts of review conventionally complained that they had limited power and capacity to upset