A Death Row Struggle Between Advocates and Lawyers

LIVINGSTON — Preston Hughes III, a death row inmate, is 46 but seems much older, with white hair, thick glasses and a quiet, slow voice that rises only when the subject of his lawyer comes up.

Hughes, convicted in 1989 of fatally stabbing two youths, has tried multiple times to fire his court-appointed lawyer, Patrick McCann. He said that McCann, who has been his lawyer for 14 years, has not raised his claims of innocence and is “helping the state cover this up.”

McCann says he cannot comment on why he will not pursue these claims, which were not ...

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