A watchdog group that advocates church-state separation has asked the IRS to investigate a Miami church that hosted a Democratic rally in late August. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the rally seemed to violate federal tax law concerning participation in political campaigns by tax-exempt houses of worship. Press reports about the August 29 event at New Birth Baptist Church said it included speeches by Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and former Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton. “Bush has misled us for four years and will not mislead us the next four years,” McAuliffe said, according to the Miami Herald. “Get out to vote and we’ll send Bush back to Texas.” Lynn said in a letter to the IRS that the activities at the event seemed to go far beyond engaging in nonpartisan activities such as voter registration and education.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).