Volunteer Success Stories

Evidence

Lack of Evidence in Alabama Case Leads to Dismissal of Indictment

A team of volunteer lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher won release and dismissal of the indictment for their client George Martin. Gibson Dunn joined Mr. Martin’s team after being recruited by the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery. After years of research, the Gibson Dunn team filed a petition for post-conviction relief based on claims of prosecutorial misconduct; they had uncovered thousands of pages of evidence in the State’s files that were not disclosed to defense counsel.

30 Years in Review

Death Penalty

30 Years: 1986-2016

For 30 years, the Death Penalty Representation Project has fought to ensure effective representation for every individual facing a death sentence. The Project’s records of case placements only date back to 1998, but since that time the Project has recruited counsel for at least 320 death row prisoners who otherwise might have faced the death penalty alone. With pro bono assistance, 76 of those prisoners have been able to win a sentence of less than death or were exonerated, and about 175 of those cases are ongoing.

2016 Year in Review

Court Administration

State High Courts Split on Application of Hurst v. Florida

Some of the biggest changes to the death penalty in 2016 followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hurst v. Florida. In Hurst, the Court found Florida’s death penalty sentencing statute unconstitutional because it gave judges the discretion to find aggravating factors apart from those found by the jury during the sentencing phase. Although the decision in Hurst only directly controlled Florida law, there was widespread expectation that this decision would also impact two other states with similar schemes: Delaware and Alabama.

U.S. Supreme Court

About Project Press

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!