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Hofstra Law Review

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.

The article, based on the author's eighteen years of service on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, explicates how the collection and presentation of mitigation evidence 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) and the Supplementary Guidelines that are the subject of this issue enable appellate courts to make reliable decisions in capital cases. Recounting his post-bench experiences in the defense of capital cases, the author also describes the ways in which the effective performance of the capital defense team benefits all actors in the criminal justice system: the more accurately the defendant's life is presented, the more everyone involved - including prosecutors and family members as well as judges - can have confidence in the soundness with which they have discharged the heavy burdens they all bear.

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