USA Death Row

The man who saves lives on Death Row

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, June 13 1988

Jim McCloskey's journey to death row began in the suburbs of Philadelphia nine years ago. He was then a successful management consultant, aged 37, with a comfortable home, an air-conditioned Lincoln Continental and a fat monthly pay cheque, and yet he was troubled.

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Death of a legal legend

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, September 5 1988

The last time I saw the greatest criminal trial lawyer in the world, he was laid out on his sofa like a fallen tree, all six foot four of him, with his huge grey head hoisted up on two white satin pillows and his black walking cane propped up beside him.

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The priest-turned-detective goes hunting for evidence

Mail on Sunday magazine, February 10 1989

Grundy is a small colourless town in the bleak backwoods of Virginia down by the border with Tennessee, a poor town where most of the men have 'black lung' from working down the coal mine and almost everybody is just about everybody else's cousin. There was a murder here, seven years ago.

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The town that loved lynching

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, April 10 1989

The old sheriff of Montgomery County, Ben Hicks, had an answer for everything.

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The deadly secrets of a small town in Texas

The Guardian, February 2 1991

Conroe looked like a nice little town. I had cruised up the freeway from Houston for half an hour, through the forest that blankets this part of east Texas, turned off by the Holiday Inn and a couple of minutes later, I was in the courthouse square with its clean streets and its neat shops and the Stars and Stripes up high on the courthouse roof like a feather in Conroe's cap.

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Laughing at racism

The Scotsman, February 9 1991

It was the day after the crime. Everyone in Conroe was talking about the report in the Courier: "Girl found slain at Conroe High. Police say teenager strangled." Politicians and church ministers were pleading for calm. The captain of detectives was on television, disclosing that the girl had been raped by her killer. Her body had been taken to the morgue down in Houston.

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A black man in a white town

The Mail on Sunday magazine, February 10 1991

Clarence Brandley always knew the truth. Long before his own trouble started - before the white girl was killed, before he was blamed, before he was condemned to death - he knew how dangerous it was to be a black man in a town like Conroe.

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A lifeline on Death Row

The Guardian,, April 25 1992

Jane Officer did not think much of her driver. He was playing redneck country music on his radio, he had a big belly, untidy grey hair, a mouth full of chewing gum and he was determined to inflict his opinions on her.

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The death row lawyer from Wolverhampton

The Guardian, December 11 1993

The Pope does not often speak up for convicted killers. But earlier this year, he joined Vaclav Havel, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Kenny Rogers, every Catholic bishop in the state of Texas, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and a world-wide campaign by Amnesty International in pleading for the life of a young black man on Death...

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