Professional Discipline of Death Penalty Lawyers and Judges by Monroe H. Freedman

On this, the fiftieth anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright’s broken promise, I have been asked to propose guidelines that (a) provide professional discipline of lawyers who fail to provide competent representation in death penalty cases, but that (b) do not discourage good lawyers from taking death cases or from cooperating with successor counsel who is trying to show that the lawyers were ineffective at trial. It is a pointless exercise. And I have added another pointless exercise, drafting guidelines that will discipline judges who appoint lawyers in death cases whom the judges know or should know will give incompetent representation.

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