The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 7, 2012

Judge appoints Bishop a new lawyer


Associated Press

— HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A judge has appointed a new lawyer to handle the appeal of a Harvard-educated biologist who pleaded guilty to shooting six people during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Court records show attorney Ronald W. Smith of Huntsville was named Tuesday to represent Amy Bishop at taxpayer expense.

Bishop wants to appeal her guilty plea and life sentence despite a deal with prosecutors that saved her from a possible death penalty.

Bishop waived her right to appeal in the agreement, so it's unclear how far the challenge will go forward.

Three lawyers who represented the Massachusetts native asked to withdraw from the case after filing papers saying she planned to appeal. Bishop could now accuse them of providing ineffective counsel or pressuring her into pleading guilty.