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Published Dec. 8, 2006

Longtime defense lawyer Ellis Rubin, known for unorthodox and sometimes flamboyant tactics over a 55-year career, said he is in the last stages of cancer.

Rubin, 81, said Wednesday doctors have told him "there is nothing more they can do" to combat cancer that has spread from his bladder to his kidneys and beyond.

"I'm afraid this is it. I just wanted to say goodbye to everybody," Rubin said.

Rubin has been involved in many sensational cases. Among them, he devised a nymphomania defense for a prostitute and contended that television violence caused a boy to kill an elderly woman. He recently represented convicted child killer Lionel Tate.


Group asks governor to spare murderer

Amnesty International is urging Gov. Jeb Bush to commute the death sentence of a man set to be executed Wednesday. It says Angel Diaz, condemned for the 1979 murder of a Miami topless bar manager, should not be executed because he was allowed to represent himself at trial, even though he couldn't speak English well and had little understanding of how a trial works.

Amnesty leaders also cited claims that Diaz was only an accomplice and that a jailhouse snitch lied during his trial.

The governor of Puerto Rico, where Diaz was convicted of another murder and escaped from prison, also is urging Bush to commute the death sentence.


Six FAMU presidential candidates are left

The search for a permanent Florida A&M University president has been narrowed to six candidates after two years under interim leader Castell Bryant.

They are Thelma Thompson, now president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Larry Palmer, former U.S. ambassador to Honduras; James Ammons, chancellor of North Carolina Central University; Lawrence Davenport, executive vice president for university advancement at Florida Atlantic University; Howard Johnson, provost of the University of North Texas; and Patricia Pierce Ramsey, provost of Bowie State University in Maryland.

Bryant has served as interim president since Fred Gainous was dismissed amid accounting and financial control problems.