All criminal defendants are constitutionally entitled to effective representation of counsel. Unfortunately, lack of resources, time, and skills often renders many capital counsel ineffective, denying numerous capital defendants that fundamental right and often resulting in a sentence of death.
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court indicated in Roper v. Simmons that the death penalty must be reserved for “the worst of the worst,” i.e., offenders who commit “‘the most serious crimes’ and whose extreme culpability makes them ‘the most deserving of execution.’” Quality of counsel, however, is a far better predictor of who gets sentenced to death and ultimately executed. The death penalty is arbitrary and capricious, in part because the “worst of the worst” sometimes describes the quality of representation for those facing it.
- CaseApril 27, 2016
- Legal DocumentApril 27, 2016
- News/Press ReleaseJuly 15, 2015
- Legal DocumentJuly 15, 2015
- News/Press ReleaseJanuary 3, 2017
PA Supreme Court Rules That Poor Defendants Have the Right to Challenge Inadequate Legal Representation in CourtNews/Press ReleaseSeptember 29, 2016
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyMay 9, 2017
- News/Press ReleaseApril 10, 2017
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyMarch 31, 2017
- Legal DocumentMarch 21, 2017
- Legal DocumentMarch 20, 2017
- Legal DocumentMarch 19, 2017