Why do lawyers defend serial killers and murderers? Rory Carroll and Simon Hattenstone talk to the lawyers who’ve taken on some of the toughest cases.
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John Henry Browne, 67, has been practising law for 43 years. Based in Seattle, Washington, he has defended high-profile mass murderers, including serial killer Ted Bundy, who sowed fear across the US in the 1970s, and Robert Bales, an army sergeant who massacred 16 Afghan civilians in 2011.
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Laurence Lee, 61, runs his own firm in Liverpool and specialises in criminal law. In 1993, he represented 10-year-old Jon Venables, who was charged with abducting two-year-old James Bulger from a shopping centre in Bootle, and murdering him. Venables and his co-defendant, Robert Thompson, were found guilty, becoming Britain’s youngest convicted murderers.
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William Kelley, 65, retired two years ago after practising law in Orange County, California, for 33 years. He defended Charles Ng, who was convicted of murdering 11 people. Ng and his accomplice, Leonard Lake, abducted and tortured their victims at a remote cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills in the mid-80s.
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