Innocence Project Letter About Ledell Lee: 1965 – 2017

I am speechless. I’ve worked on two death penalty appeals, and have supported the Innocence Project since its inception and the Southern Poverty Law Center for more than 25 years. Though I support their work, I often do not read about it because…I can’t take it. Hearing of this kind of injustice never gets any better.


As scary as it sounds, Arkansas has been racing to execute eight people on death row before the state’s supply of lethal injection drug expires at the end of the month.

Ten days ago, we were brought on to do everything possible to stop the execution of two of the eight men, Ledell Lee and Stacey Johnson. Both men had been proclaiming their innocence for more than twenty years, but a lawyer never asked for a court to order DNA testing to prove it. Last night, Mr. Johnson was granted a stay of execution and chance for DNA testing. But the courts denied that same chance to Mr. Lee, and he was executed just before midnight.

Mr. Lee, who suffered from fetal alcohol disorder and intellectual disability, never received the legal representation he deserved in fighting his murder conviction. The judge who tried him concealed having an affair with the assistant prosecutor on the case, whom he later married. And Mr. Lee’s first state post-conviction counsel was so intoxicated during Mr. Lee’s court hearing that the prosecution asked for the lawyer to be drug tested after he slurred, stumbled, and made incoherent arguments.

We worked around the clock with colleagues from the ACLU to stop the state from executing Mr. Lee and grant him DNA testing to prove a murder he maintained, until the end, he did not commit.

After filing multiple motions to the Arkansas Supreme Court, they decided to rush Mr. Lee’s execution last night and deny him the opportunity to conduct DNA testing that could have proven his innocence. Mr. Lee asked for communion as his last meal.

We are devastated for the loss of our client Ledell Lee, 51, and infuriated by this act of injustice.

Please join us in sending Mr. Lee’s family your condolences in this time of great loss. A fund to help the family with funeral expenses has been set up by supporters in Arkansas here (Please specify that your donation is for Mr. Lee).

Thank you for your support,

Nina Morrison
Senior Staff Attorney
Innocence Project


Final Sonorous III Headphones: Early Impressions

I’ve owned approximately 439 pairs of headphones over the course of my audiophile life — models from AKG, Etymotic, Focal, Grado, Nakamichi, Oppo, Sennheiser, Shure, Signet, Sony, SoundMAGIC, Stax, Superphon and Yamaha. The variations have included in-ear, on-ear, over-ear, open-back, closed-back, dynamic, electrostatic and planar magnetic. A good pair of headphones can sound like an outrageous pair of loudspeakers in a perfect room. And for certain living situations and types of music — say, if you live in an apartment and dig deep-pedal organ works — headphones are a must.

Final Sonorous III ($399)

Also, I like headphones.

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Subversive Cultural Influences

The list, beginning in about sixth grade (ongoing, and in no particular order):

I first heard this on the radio late one night during high school. Yes, it’s that old.


X-Men: Apocalypse — full review

Watched it on the HBO. Lots of stuff blowed up, but in the end, the world was saved.

Here’s what happens:
In ancient times, the Pharoah got killed by those who thought he was a false god, but then in the future which was 1983 a guy’s family from Poland got killed which is why he became Magneto because of what happened in Cuba last time which is why the CIA lady and a bad Army dude had captured the wolfman, which was Wolverine, but he ran away into the snow at the secret place because Professor Xavier said embrace your power to the girl who helped wolfman both now and in the future when the ex-Pharoah guy tried to wreck everything, but the good mutants reunited to stop him and also fixed up the mutant mansion that blowed up real good because the bridges came down and everything since the Bronze Age because…metal.

After that, things got a little confusing.

2 Stars

Subwoofers and Whatnot

I can’t take it anymore, so I’m writing about stereo equipment.

Yesterday, I had plenty to do (clean bathroom, clean kitchen, laundry, vacuum), but I didn’t want to do it, so I threw together a Special Ops Reconnaissance Mission (no credit cards) to Best Buy to check out subwoofers, after which I planned to walk over to Patel Brothers Market to pick up a couple of packages of those Turkish black olives like I like, and then visit my favorite Mexican place.

No clue.
No clue.

I’ve owned three subwoofers over the course of my audio fixation (whole life), and each has been unsatisfying in its own special way. The Sequerra Pyramid (remember them?) needed way too much power. The JBL was hard to adjust and wouldn’t turn itself on until things got too loud for polite listening. And the B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) was massive, expensive and slow.

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