Enforcing the ABA Guidelines in Capital State Post-Conviction Proceedings After Martinez and Pinholster by Eric M. Freedman

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The American Bar Association (“ABA”) Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases1 (“Guidelines”) mandate “high quality legal representation in accordance with these Guidelines” from the moment of arrest until the prosecution is no longer entitled to seek the death penalty.2 Commentators have long urged the Supreme Court to translate this sound policy—one that would benefit the states as well as prisoners3—into an explicit rule of constitutional law requiring the states to provide effective counsel in capital state post-conviction proceedings.

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