Protecting the Innocent: Ensuring Competent Counsel in Death Penalty Cases : Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, First Session, June 27, 2001

U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002 - 134 pages

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Page 39 - ... system adopted, is to place the ultimate authority and responsibility for the operation of the plan in a board of trustees. Where an assigned counsel system is selected, it should be governed by such a board. The board should have the power to establish general policy for the operation of the plan, consistent with these standards and in keeping with the standards of professional conduct. The board should be precluded from interfering in the conduct of particular cases.
Page 22 - If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call.
Page 39 - The plan should be designed to guarantee the integrity of the relationship between lawyer and client. The plan and the lawyers serving under it should be free from political influence and should be subject to judicial supervision only in the same manner and to the same extent as are lawyers in private practice.
Page 99 - Every person who is indicted of treason or other capital crime, shall be allowed to make his full defense by counsel learned in the law; and the court before which he is tried or some judge thereof, shall immediately, upon his request, assign to him such counsel, not exceeding two, as he may desire, and they shall have free access to him at all reasonable hours.
Page 96 - ... by a third lawyer, Richard Burr of Houston, Texas), have worked roughly half-time in assisting counsel who have been appointed to defend the increasing numbers of federal death penalty prosecutions brought under § 848(e) and later under the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 (18 USC §3591 et sea.). In addition to working with individual courtappointed lawyers, our responsibilities as Resource Counsel include: • identification and recruitment of qualified, experienced defense counsel for possible...
Page 102 - ... Bowers & Pierce, supra; Foley & Powell, supra, may be common. I will not attempt at this time to expand upon the conclusions that these studies may dictate. But if the Court is going to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, then it cannot sanction continued executions on the unexamined assumption that the death penalty is being administered in a rational, nonarbitrary, and noncapricious manner. Simply to assume that the procedural protections mandated by this Court's prior decisions eliminate...
Page 91 - STANDARD 13.8 SELECTION OF PUBLIC DEFENDERS The method employed to select public defenders should insure that the public defender is as independent as any private counsel who undertakes the defense of a fee-paying criminally accused person.
Page 37 - Seated beside his client — a convicted capital murderer — defense attorney John Benn spent much of Thursday afternoon's trial in apparent deep sleep. His mouth kept falling open and his head lolled back on his shoulders, and then he awakened just long enough to catch himself and sit upright. Then it happened again. And again. And again. Every time he opened his eyes, a different prosecution witness was on the stand describing another aspect of the Nov. 19, 1991, arrest of George McFarland in...
Page 35 - ... previously examined the hair and found that it could not validly be compared. As a result of such inquiry, Gary Nelson was released after eleven years on death row. Frederico Martinez-Macias was represented at his capital trial in El Paso, Texas, by a court-appointed attorney paid only $11.84 per hour.10 Counsel failed to present an available alibi witness, relied upon an incorrect assumption about a key evidentiary point without doing the research that would have corrected his erroneous view...
Page 37 - The Constitution, as interpreted by the courts, does not require that the accused, even in a capital case, be represented by able or effective counsel. Consequently, accused persons who are represented by "not-legally-ineffective...

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