Robin Lovitt is accused of killing a man and stealing a cash register drawer in 1998
After Starr left as independent counsel, he returned to his law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where Lovitt's case had become a pro bono project.
Starr has since become one of Lovitt's lead attorneys in conjunction with the non-profit Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center.
Starr told the Washington Post he was disturbed by how so many things went wrong in Lovitt's childhood and during his legal proceedings, including the destruction of nearly all physical evidence from his trial.
"A compassionate and decent society has to ensure that a death penalty regime is as error-free as humanly possible and as fair as humanly possible," Starr said in an interview.