Attorney David Nevin spent 19 1/2 years fighting to save the life of Richard Leavitt, who was convicted of mutilating and murdering a woman in Blackfoot, Idaho. On June 11, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a final plea from Nevin and another lawyer, clearing the way for Leavitt’s execution the next day. Nevin, at last, gave up.
Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will step down at the end of this month has prompted some commentators to wonder why we don’t encourage U.S. federal judges to retire early, too. Actually, we do -- and too many are.