December 05, 2013 Articles

Pro Bono Spotlight: Defending the Interests of Death Row Inmates

By Stephen E. Reynolds and Katie J. Marschke

For one busy New York litigator, calling it a day after managing her successful practice in complex, nationwide products liability cases is not an option. Lori B. Leskin of Kaye Scholer LLP spends much of her "free" time defending the interests of death row inmates. Over the course of her career, Leskin has successfully represented several inmates, including, most recently, a Virginia inmate whose death sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole. As recently as August 2013, Leskin led a team in a one-week hearing in support of a habeas corpus petition for a Georgia inmate, arguing that the inmate was deprived of his right to receive effective assistance of counsel during his trial.

Kaye Scholer has a long history of representing defendants in post-conviction proceedings. In the spring of 2012, Leskin spoke to other members of her firm about taking another death penalty case. The case of Darryl Stinski came to Kaye Scholer through the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project.

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