The Chilling Effect that the Threat of Sanctions Can Have on Effective Representation in Capital Cases

The filing of Rule 11 sanctions motions against defense lawyers in capital cases has far-reaching and enduring consequences. Such motions can be used for harassment, to chill vigorous defense representation, or to dissuade defense counsel from raising and preserving appropriate issues. That tool, however, should never be employed to gain an advantage in litigation, to influence the outcome of the case, or to dissuade opposing counsel from aggressively asserting their claims.

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