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Authors

Kelly Reissmann

Document Type

Article

Media Type

Text

Abstract

Courts have been reluctant to find instances of ineffective assistance of counsel in death penalty cases. Most ineffective assistance claims are dismissed as "tactical decisions" or nonprejudicial error. This comment examines the inadequacy of counsel at capital trials. The author examines and discusses the current standard for determining whether a defendant's attorney was ineffective, and through a survey of common errors and examples argues that the standard does not protect against even egregious examples of ineffective assistance. The comment discusses reasons why capital defendants often receive low quality representation and some legislative solutions that have been attempted. Concluding that these solutions have been ineffective, the author proposes several suggestions to reform the system; including a moratorium on imposing the death penalty until reforms can take effect, greater resource allocation to indigent defender programs, and education for both law students and practicing attorneys.

First Page

43

Last Page

79

Publication Date

11-1-2002

Department

College of Law

ISSN

0734-1490

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University Law Review

Included in

Law Commons

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