2003 Guidelines

Below are descriptions and links to the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases, formally approved by the ABA House of Delegates in February 2003. These pages include blackletter guidelines only. If you wish to view the full Guidelines with commentary, use the pdf link below. You can also visit our ABA Guidelines Page to learn more about the history, use, and implementation of the Guidelines.

View full Guidelines in pdf format

Guideline NumberDescription
1.1Objective and Scope of Guidelines
2.1Adoption and Implementation of a Plan to Provide High Quality Legal Representation in Death Penalty Cases
3.1Designation of a Responsible Agency
4.1The Defense Team and Supporting Services
5.1Qualificaitons of Defense Counsel
7.1Monitoring and Removal
9.1Funding and Compensation
10.1Establishment of Performance Standards
10.2Applicability of Performance Standards
10.3Obligations of Counsel Respecting Workload
10.4The Defense Team
10.5Relationship with the Client
10.6Additional Obligations of Counsel Representing a Foreign National
10.8The Duty to Assert Legal Claims
10.9.1The Duty to Seek an Agreed-upon Disposition
10.9.2Entry of a Plea of Guilty
10.10.1Trial Preparation Overall
10.10.2Voir Dire and Jury Selection
10.11The Defense Case Concerning Penalty
10.12The Official Presentence Report
10.13The Duty to Facilitate the Work of Successor Counsel
10.14Duties of Trial Counsel After Conviction
10.15.1Duties of Post-Conviction Counsel
10.15.2Duties of Clemency Counsel