Death Penalty News

Death Penalty

U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes Right to Effective Counsel in Plea Bargains

On March 21, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of rulings holding that there is a federal constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel in the negotiation and acceptance of plea bargains. Although these opinions provided important recognition both of the prominent role that plea bargaining plays in the criminal justice system and of the importance of effective legal representation during that process, the Court granted wide discretion to trial court judges to determine the remedy when a defendant’s rights have been violated.

Bias & Discrimination

First Death Row Prisoner Granted Relief Under North Carolina Racial Justice Act

In a landmark decision issued April 20, 2012, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks commuted the death sentence of Marcus Robinson to life without parole, finding that race was a significant factor in prosecutors’ decisions to exercise peremptory juror strikes, both in Mr. Robinson’s case specifically and more generally in death penalty cases throughout the county and state.

Project News

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Project Press is the newsletter of the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project. Each issue contains news about the Project, clients in need of pro bono assistance, death penalty cases and opinions, training opportunities, and much more!

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