A.W. Morgan writes:
As for Buckley, my guess on his support for Smith is this: Buckley enjoyed the role the contrarian, and reveled in shocking his audiences, like the bad boy in the classroom. That’s how he got famous in the 1950s, after all.
Thus, he admitted smoking grass, albeit in international waters so he wouldn’t break U.S. law. He wrote for pornographic magazines. And as Christopher Buckley told us, whipped it out and peed out the door of his limousine as it zoomed down the road.
James Fulford has more:
But Buckley, for all his faults, wasn’t Norman Mailer. It was only his misguided belief that Smith was innocent that had him fighting to get him off death row–Mailer thought guys like Abbott should be allowed out even though they were guilty.