Please set value(s) for component.

Justice Department nominee should be praised, not criticized, for death penalty representation, ABA says

Justice Department nominee should be praised, not criticized, for death penalty representation, ABA says

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2014 — In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, American Bar Association President James R. Silkenat spoke out against recent criticism of Debo Adegbile, nominee for assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, for his efforts to protect the fundamental constitutional rights of his client.

While an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Adegbile successfully argued that constitutional errors in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s trial should result in a new sentencing hearing. State prosecutors later declined to seek a new death sentence and agreed to a sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole for Abu-Jamal.

“A fundamental tenet of our justice system and our Constitution is that anyone who faces loss of liberty has a right to legal counsel,” Silkenat wrote. “Mr. Adegbile’s work, like the work of ABA members who provide thousands of hours of pro bono legal services every year, is consistent with the finest tradition of this country’s legal profession and should be commended, not condemned.”

Silkenat’s letter is available online.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

 

No comments yet

Advertisement

Search ABA News

  • Media

  • ABA News Sections

  • Key Issues