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ABA Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Martinez v. Ryan

ABA Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Martinez v. Ryan

By Daniel Buchanan

Today the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Martinez v. Ryan affirmed the importance of the Sixth Amendment by expanding the ability of federal habeas courts to evaluate the effectiveness of trial counsel.

The Court’s decision today is a change from its prior rule that prevented federal court review when appellate counsel was negligent. This welcome decision is in accord with longstanding policy of the American Bar Association and an amicus brief that the association submitted in the case.

“This significant ruling will help ensure fairness and justice for many criminal defendants throughout the country, including those on death row,” says ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III. “Many defendants who received ineffective representation or no representation at all during their post-conviction proceedings have been unable to present claims concerning violations of their constitutional rights at trial in federal court. The Court’s decision today recognizes the injustice of that circumstance.”

Please click here for a link to the Supreme Court’s decision.

Please click here for a biography and photo of Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association.

Media contact: Meredith Josef (202-662-1092) or

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