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Hofstra Law Review

Article Title

Sudden Death: A Federal Trial Judge's Reflections on the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases

Authors

Mark W. Bennet

Abstract

An experienced federal district judged discuss the role of the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases. This includes his personal experiences from two lengthy federal death penalty trials where both defendants received the death penalty. The Guidelines were even more crucial in a 18 trial day, 28 U.S.C. 2255 proceeding, where the judge granted an new penalty phase re-trial based, in part, on significant ineffective assistance of counsel for many violations of the Guidelines and the 6th Amendment. It is a sad narrative of what can go wrong when the Guidelines are not scroupsly followed and the benefits the Guidelines to all involved in the death penalty process.