The Right Coast

May 12, 2005
Creative Lawyering
By Gail Heriot

When a death row serial killer says he is tired of the appeals process and wants to die, what does a good attorney acting in the public interest do? How about bring a lawsuit arguing that the execution should be enjoined because it constitutes state-assisted suicide and will encourage other prison inmates to kill themselves too? "Suicide contagion" they call it. "These prisoners will try to kill themselves in the hours, days and weeks following Michael's death,'' the suit states. Hmm.