The real Ken Starr


Kenneth Starr has been much—reviled by liberals for his activity as an independent counsel charged with investigating William Jefferson Clinton. But the very same Kenneth Starr spends his free time defending an inmate on death row who maintains he is innocenct. And the very same Kenneth Starr does not think believe in the death penalty except for the most certain of cases. Perhaps the defenders of Clinton caricatured and demonized a dedicated, compasionate, and intelligent man, to defend the indefensible.
Last year, Starr became one of Lovitt's lead attorneys after being disturbed by how much he says went wrong, both in Lovitt's childhood and in his legal proceedings, including the destruction of nearly all physical evidence from his trial.

"A compassionate and decent society has to ensure that a death penalty regime is as error—free as humanly possible and as fair as humanly possible," Starr said in an interview. For Lovitt, he said, the system has failed that test. Moreover, he said: "He is maintaining his innocence, and as his counsel, I am maintaining his innocence."

As Starr talked, he sounded in moments not so much like the hard—driven prosecutor who did not let up on Clinton, but more like the committed volunteer who once taught high school students in Anacostia about the Constitution.

Ed Lasky  3 14 05