This featured article by Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker examines the Brian Nichols death penalty case in Atlanta, Georgia. In July, 2005, Henderson Hill and Jake Sussman were appointed to represent Mr. Nichols.
In July, 2005, he approved the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council’s selection of Henderson Hill, an accomplished criminal-defense lawyer from Charlotte, North Carolina, who specializes in death-penalty cases, to lead a new team of four. "I felt that this case was difficult enough that we needed someone away from the local Atlanta legal community," Fuller said. "The indictment was fifty-four counts, there are eleven different crime scenes, and it was just a complicated case. The local criminal-defense bar did not come flocking to this case. I went to one of the best defense lawyers in Atlanta to ask him about taking this case, and he said, 'Heavens, no. I knew Judge Barnes too well.' Judge Barnes was loved by everyone here. That decision--hiring the lawyers from North Carolina--has been the thing that caused the most trouble, because it's been expensive to have people come in from out of state."
Defense costs for travel and lodging have been substantial, though Hill cut his usual hourly rate from three hundred and fifty dollars to a hundred and seventy-five dollars, and his colleague--Jacob Sussman, from Hill’s North Carolina firm, and Robert L. McGlasson, a veteran death-penalty specialist in Atlanta--are working for less. A fourth lawyer, Penny Marshall, volunteers her time.