Edited by Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker
Chapter 5: An unfair fight for justice: legal representation of persons facing the death penalty
This chapter describes the challenges facing capital defense lawyers around the world. It also provides an overview of judicial responses to ineffective legal representation in death penalty cases. While courts in a handful of countries have overturned convictions based on trial counsel’s errors, most have taken a hands-off approach. The few courts that have quashed death sentences as a remedy for counsel’s flawed representation have emphasized the exceptional nature of such remedies. Given the judiciary’s unwillingness to ensure that capital defendants receive competent and well-funded lawyers, the author concludes that national bar associations should play an active role in setting minimum standards for capital defense representation.
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