From CNN.com: US – Death row inmate whose lawyer slept at trial to stay in jail. Calvin Burdine’s murder conviction had been thrown out because his lawyer had allegedly slept through long segments of his trial. The state of Texas missed a deadline to file an appeal and on Wednesday a federal judge ordered him released. The Texas AG called the missed deadline for a new trial a “regrettable mistake.” But he said the error does not justify “releasing a convicted murderer.” Two days later, an appeals court has agreed and is blocking his release. Texas Gov. George W. Bush says, “He’s a really violent person. I hope he gets retried soon.”
Consider Mr. Death, a fascinating documentary by Errol Morris and its subject Fred Leuchter Jr. Leuchter, an engineer from Malden, Mass., was a self-taught expert on methods of execution and a consultant to a variety of states with the death penalty. In 1988, he was commissioned by Ernst Zündel, a neo-Nazi being prosecuted in a highly-publicized trial in Canada for publishing literature claiming that the Holocaust had never occurred, to conduct a forensic investigation into the Nazi use of poison gas in the WWII death camps. He claimed to have “proven” that the Holocaust had never happened by failing to find traces of poisonous substances in brick and mortar samples he had obtained illegally from the walls of the Auschwitz gas chambers. “The Leuchter Report is out there in dozens of languages, and I would dare say in millions of copies. We will not go down in history as being a nation of genocidal maniacs. We will not. We can, with historical truth, detoxify a poisoned planet,” said Zündel.
And while we’re on the subject of Holocaust deniers, Salon updates us on British author and Hitler apologist David Irving’s libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt, the Emory University professor of history who has called Irving “one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial.” Irving argues on his own behalf and the presiding judge has given him considerable leeway in presenting his case so as not to present the appearance of putting a person with no legal experience at a disadvantage. Irving thus gets massive exposure for his insidious arguments. To assist Lipstadt in her case, the Israeli government this week decided to release over 600 pages of Adolph Eichmann’s memoirs. Holocaust survivors attending the trial to bear witness are concerned about how much easier it will be for such Hitler apologists to plant seeds of doubt after the last survivors of the Final Solution are gone.
From Wired: “France Agog, Aghast Over Echelon”, the US- and UK-run surveillance network that can allegedly intercept email, faxes, and phone conversations. This article is full of links to extensive earlier coverage of the Echelon phenomenon, which is becoming a major acute irritant to chronically tense Anglo-French relations.
Kenyon College examines the rave scene: electronic dance music, its various sub-genres and styles. “As we dance into the next millennium, we must not forget our past. It is my hope that ravers, DJ’s, music critics, students, and anyone else interested in electronic dance music will be able to use this site to learn more about the sounds and subcultures that have provided the style and soundtrack to the end of the 20th century.”