Kenneth W. Starr, who gained famed as independent counsel in the impeachment investigation of President Bill Clinton, has a new cause with a much lower profile, reports the Washington Post. He has become pro bono legal advocate for a man on death row in Virginia. Robin Lovitt, 35, was convicted in a 1998 knife murder at an Arlington pool hall.
Starr’s law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, agreed to represent Lovitt, and Starr agreed to become one of the man’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. For Lovitt, he said, the system has failed. “He is maintaining his innocence,” Starr said, “and as his counsel, I am maintaining his innocence.”