Massachusetts lawmakers June 14 voted to kill a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, leaving opponents of such marriages discouraged. The state legislature, meeting in a joint session, voted 151-45 to block the proposed amendment from being placed on the 2008 ballot. The citizens-backed measure needed five more votes, 50 in all, to make the ballot. Governor Deval L. Patrick, a Democrat who took office in January, said the vote was a victory for equal rights. “In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure,” Patrick told a cheering crowd of supporters at the statehouse after the vote.
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).