The Guiding Hand of Counsel’ and the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases

By Robin M. Maher / Hofstra Law Review, on 1 January 2003

The ABA has long been concerned with the provision of effective counsel for all criminal defendants, especially for those facing the death penalty. In 1989, the ABA first published its Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases, which detailed the kind of competent, effective legal representation that all capital defendants were entitled to receive. Earlier this year, after a two-year effort drawing upon the expertise of a broad group ofdistinguished and experienced judges, lawyers, and academics, the ABA House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved revisions to those Guidelines to update and expand upon the obligations of death penalty jurisdictions to ensure due process of law and justice. “These Guidelines are not aspirational.” They articulate a national standard of care and the minimum that should be required in the defense of capital cases.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Legal Representation,