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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

N.C. Study Finds Many People on Death Row Had Substandard Representation

From DPIC.com: The Common Sense Foundation of North Carolina recently released a study on that found that at least 37 people now on death row had trial lawyers who would not have met today’s minimum standards of qualification.  Nearly a third of the cases where sufficient data was available fell into this substandard category.

The study also lists the names of 16 people who have been executed whose trial lawyers did not meet these same standards. Over half of the executions in the state where data was available were of defendants whose attorneys would not meet the current state standards.

The study noted that after the state legislature created the Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) in 2001 requiring that appointed capital defense attorneys have some experience and knowledge of capital defense, the number of N.C. death sentences declined sharply.  However, the new rules do not apply to those who have already been sentenced to death.

Get Study. . . [Mark Godsey]

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