May 03, 2018 Resources

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