Iraqis will vote October 15 on a proposal for a permanent constitution that many Sunni Muslim leaders, other religious minorities and secularists find deeply troubling.
The drafting committee, made up mainly of Sunni and Shi‘ite Muslim Arabs and Kurdish representatives, presented the document to the interim Iraqi National Assembly August 28. The move came just a day after negotiations between Shi‘ites and the Kurds and Sunnis who objected to certain parts of the document broke off.
By the next day, news reports said, Sunni leaders in many parts of the nation were vowing to defeat the proposed charter at the polls. If two-thirds majorities in three of the nation’s 18 provinces vote to reject the proposal, it will fail.
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).