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ALAN POGUE sheriff, or police, or a jail situation, or a police officer then I think that in that situation, it would help the public confidence, plus, take the political heat off the local officials to have the AG come in there. How about the attorney general’s role in the carrying out of the death penalty? Are you in favor of the death penalty capital punishment? I support the law that we have at the present time. Again, the way that that is carried out is, coming back to the defense of the laws, is basically a responsibility of the office. When that comes up on a writ of habeas corpus, the attorney general’s office [inaudible on tape] to handle the writ on appeal, and to represent the state’s interest when the local prosecution of the case has been attacked by the inmate or by the criminal. So, yes, my personal view is that I think the state of the law where it is now I don’t think that it needs to be strengthened any more than what it is that is, more death penalty than we have at the present time. But we do not need to have, to my knowledge, the imposition of the death penalty in any more cases than it is at the present time. I’m not advocating that. I think that . . . the Legislature constitutionally has spoken as to that matter. Then, again, we come back to what we talked about earlier: The responsibility of the attorney general is to enforce the laws and public interest. And when the laws are attacked, to defend the constitutionality of those laws. Do you have any personal reservations about capital punishment? Well, yes, I do, in the sense that it is, obviously, the ultimate, ultimate penalty to take someone’s life. And the state should never, never, never take that action if there is any doubt, or until the system has completely worked. Considering your views on capital punishment, would you be inclined to support the work of the Capital Punishment Clinic that operates out of the law school here? Some have criticized it for protracting the process; others have claimed that it tries to provide every bit of due process. In capital punishment cases, would you be inclined to support that sort of work? The little bit I know about it, I would be inclined to support it. Again, I come back to the basic philosophy that, while I support, I don’t want to say support, if that’s the law then that’s what the Legislature has determined. But I think nevertheless, that the ultimate due process must be imposed. I mean, I have no reservations about being that there be the strictest of due process in a murder case or a capital punishment case. Emphatically. Because of. the nature of the penalty. And clearly, all due process should be imposed to get to that ultimate point. How about schoolfinance? Do you see the attorney general’s office playing a role in the issue? The [Supreme] Court has ruled and it’s obviously going to be back before Judge McCown’ s Scott McCown, isn’t it? Right, Judge Scott McCown. Do you see a role for the AG’ s office in school finance? Yes, it certainly got there because of Edgewood versus Kirby. It is now literally at the point of the special session that Governor Clements has called for February 23. Hopefully, the Legislature will solve the problem without having to go back into litigation. As the task force pointed out, they’re there to try to accomplish something before it goes into court. And if it does not, then it’s back up to the attorney general. I mean, it’s gone to the highest court. It’s gone to the Texas Supreme Court. But then it’s back to the plaintiffs and the defendant, [Education Commissioner William] Kirby, through the attorney general’s office to work out a solution. So, yes, there will be a definite, clear role there on a major issue. What I started to say … is that the attorney general should have a pro-active relationship with the Legislature on laws, and with the governor’s office. Not to take away from their responsibilities, but to have a working relationship with whoever the leadership is and with the Legislature, to see that the Legislature enact constitutional laws. My view would be, if I were attorney general now, in a litigation setup like that, is I think we ought to have a working relationship with the Governor, with the Legislature. For example, on Edgewood v. Kirby, to say, `Hey, let’s don’t have to wind up at the courthouse, letting our courts decide these.’ I think that the attorney general has a role of involvement. You just don’t work in two different arenas, and then if that fails everybody criticize the courts. You try to take a preventive medicine approach to the law to prevent those type of problems coming up in the first place. 10 JANUARY 26, 1990