Topic: Harry Whittington

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Harry M. Whittington (born March 3, 1927) is an American lawyer, real estate investor, and political figure from Austin, Texas who received international media attention on February 11, 2006, when he was shot in the face by Vice President Dick Cheney while hunting quail with two women on a ranch in Kenedy County, Texas, near Corpus Christi.

Whittington was born in Henderson, Texas on March 3, 1927. He received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin and began practicing law in Austin in 1950. Whittington was a member of the Texas Beta chapter of Phi Delta Theta. The same year, he married Mercedes Baker and they now have four daughters and six grandchildren. In 2006, a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman referred to him as "very rich, very stubborn and very patient." He has also been active in Texas state politics.

Over the years, he has been appointed to several committees and commissions, including the Office of Patent Protection Executive Committee (a committee formed by the governor of Texas to ensure the rights of patent holders), the Texas Public Finance Authority Board, and the Texas Department of Corrections. He is also the current chairman of the Texas Funeral Service Commission, a position he was appointed to by then-Texas Governor George W. Bush. In the 1980s, as an appointee of Gov. Bill Clements, he was instrumental in bringing about reforms necessary for Texas to comply with a federal court order that found the state's treatment of its prisoners unconstitutional. . Whittington is outspoken about his doubts about the death penalty as it is applied in Texas, especially in regard to defendants who are mentally retarded.

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