Election buzz hinders coverage of first federal government execution

WASHINGTON: Unlikely forces have come together to call attention to the case of Juan Raul Garza, the convicted killer of three who this week stands to become the first man executed by the federal government in 37 years.

WASHINGTON: Unlikely forces have come together to call attention to the case of Juan Raul Garza, the convicted killer of three who this week stands to become the first man executed by the federal government in 37 years.

WASHINGTON: Unlikely forces have come together to call attention to the case of Juan Raul Garza, the convicted killer of three who this week stands to become the first man executed by the federal government in 37 years.

But an even more unlikely force - the post-election media monopoly - has conspired to keep the campaign's cause out of the public spotlight.

Citizens for a Moratorium on Federal Executions (CMFE), an ad-hoc group organized specifically for this cause, comprises religious leaders, law professors and former Clinton aides, among others. Theirs was to be a war fought on two fronts: direct influence over the president's decision and rallying public support. The first has proceeded as planned, with requests for face time with Clinton reportedly being considered. The second, however, has been slow to catch fire.

Two boutique firms, McKinney & McDowell and Riptide Communications, have been working to publicize CMFE's efforts, but breaking through the election-obsessed media has proved hard. Jennifer Smith, White House director of specialty press, declined to comment on CMFE's actions.



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