Defense Attorney Found Hanged

Wednesday, November 7th 2007, 7:36 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Friends and colleagues of defense attorney Lisa McCalmont of Norman say they're stunned and baffled that she would take her own life.

Authorities say Lisa McCalmont hanged herself at her home last week.

Lisa McCalmont was known nationally as an outspoken critic of lethal injections and was a consultant to the Death Penalty Clinic at the law school at the University of California at Berkley.

Colleagues say McCalmont seemed to be on top of the world and looking forward to a Supreme Court case in which the justices will decide if lethal injections are constitutional.

The case involves two Kentucky death row inmates and while Lisa McCalmont wasn't directly involved her colleagues say she helped lay the groundwork for similar challenges.

Some who knew Lisa McCalmont say she didn't appear to be despondent but John McShane of the Dallas-based Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers says depression can be an occupational hazard for lawyers.

John McShane says the best and most compassionate lawyers are the ones most vulnerable to mental illness.