Press Coverage & Mentions

Stories from the news media about the Death Penalty Representation Project and our work.


"Domineque Ray Is Set to Be Executed Thursday. Did He Ever Really Have a Chance at Being Spared?" ProPublica, Feb. 4, 2019

In 2002, the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Representation Project referred the case of Domineque Ray to attorney Peter, who has continued to advocate for Ray throughout his capital proceedings. 

Additional Press about Domineque Ray:


"Legislature’s Judiciary Committee hears need for defense attorney standards in death penalty cases" Lincoln Journal Star, Sep. 7, 2018

Project Director Emily Olson-Gault addresses the importance of adopting the American Bar Association standards for defense attorneys in death penalty cases, noting that the guidelines represent a baseline for what is necessary to ensure fairness and accuracy in capital cases.

"ABA groups launch clemency information clearinghouse for death penalty cases," ABA Journal, June 2018


"Updates from the Military Commissions, 11/13: Finally, a Cross-Examination!," Lawfare Blog, Nov. 28, 2017

Additional press about USS Cole bombing testimony:

"USS Cole’s deck was scene of ‘chaos, panic’ after al-Qaida’s bombing," Miami Herald (Carol Rosenberg), Nov. 8, 2017 - Part of award winning series "Death-Penalty Defese Drama at Guantanamo War Court," recipient of the 2018 ABA Silver Gavel Award for Newspaper Reporting

"'Show me the proof…before you can get the proof': Ayestas offers the Court the chance to fix a paradoxical and unfair standard in death penalty cases," American Constitution Society (ACSblog), Oct. 27, 2017

Additional press about Ayestas v. Davis:


"Mississippi Attorney General James Hood defends discredited forensic experts, harasses defense attorneys instead" Washington Post, Aug. 25, 2016

In an affidavit Project Director Emily Olson-Gault voiced the ABA’s concerns about Mississippi Attorney General’s use of Rule 22 of Mississippi’s Rules of Appellate Procedure, noting that Hood’s interpretation of this rule could harm indigent capital defendants in Mississippi. 


"ABA Groups Lend Expertise for Federal Judiciary and Death Penalty Issues," Pass It On - ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, Winter 2014 Vol. 23, No. 2 (pdf)


"ABA Death Penalty Representation Project honored for its fight for justice for death row prisoners," ABA News, Oct. 9, 2013

The Project was honored in Philadelphia at the Witness to Innocence 10th Anniversary Celebration for its work to “enact meaningful changes in our criminal justice system.”


"Attorneys for the Damned: ABA Project Marks 25 Years of Providing Counsel to Death Row Inmates," ABA Journal, Jul. 1, 2012

After Joe Lee Guy was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in Texas in 1993, attorneys from Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney took up his case on appeal. They had a hard time believing some of what they found—or didn’t find—in the files from his trial.

Additional press about the Project's 25th Anniversary:


"A Dose of Optimism" Harvard Law Bulletin, July 1, 2011

Attorney Kenneth Frazier discusses the exoneration of his client, James Cochran, who spent 21 years on death row. Frazier began representing Cochran after Esther Lardent, head of the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project, sought his assistance on the case.

"Volunteer on Capital Cases: Join the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project," The Young Laywer (pdf), Feb. 2011

There are 3,300 people on death row in the United States, and 99.5 percent of them are indigent. For too many, without the generosity of pro bono attorneys, they will face death alone. 


"The High Price of Life," The American Lawyer (pdf), Jul. 1, 2010

"In Search of Volunteer Lawyers for Death Row Inmates," The BLT: The Blog of the LegalTimes, Mar. 9, 2010

Robin Maher, director of the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project, discusses the difficulty she has faced in finding pro bono representation for prisoners on death row.   


"Saving Clients from the Death Penalty" Vault Blog, March 10, 2009

Hays & Handler litigation partner, John Howley, discusses the important role the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project has played in death penalty case referrals. Howley’s firm has represented several clients referred to by the Death Penalty Representation Project, including Calvin Swann in his final clemency hearing.


"Luring Pro Bono Lawyers For Death Row's Forgotten," The Washington Post, Nov. 30, 2004

Project Director Robin Maher talks about the uphill battle in convincing law firms to take on capital appeals at no cost.

"Death-Defying Acts: Many firms cite their capital case pro bono work. These good deeds save lives but can’t redeem an intrinsically flawed system" The American Lawyer, Jan. 12, 2004

Project Director Robin Maher addresses how large firms play an increasingly important role in capital cases as states cut resources. While capital case pro bono work has resulted in the sentences of some defendants being overturned or reduced, the system remains plagued with injustices including ineffective assistance, inadequate resources, and racial bias.


"Civil firms can offer life to inmates on death row," The Houston Chronicle, Sep. 2, 2003  

"Offensive defenses -- Death-penalty defendants deserve strong counsel," Philadelphia Inquirer, editorial, Feb. 24, 2003