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Hofstra Law Review

Authors

Robin M. Maher

Abstract

This article appears in the Hofstra Law Review symposium issue on the Supplementary Guidelines for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Death Penalty cases.

This article, whose author is the Director of the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project, places the Supplementary Guidelines in the context of the ABA's work in the death penalty field. The ABA does not oppose capital punishment but does favor justice. Hence the organization has long insisted that any jurisdiction desiring to retain execution as a criminal sanction provide high quality defense representation in accordance with the ABA's Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases reprinted in 31 Hofstra L. Rev. 913 (2003). Under those Guidelines counsel is responsible for the performance of a multidisciplinary team that includes at least one mitigation specialist. The Supplementary Guidelines spell out important features of the existing standards of practice which will facilitate the functioning of this team and will help defense counsel to supervise it. The ABA accordingly welcomes the Supplementary Guidelines as important tools for all those who seek to insure justice for the men and women on death row.

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