Death Penalty | Capital Murder

Gideon Alert: Philadelphia death penalty assigned counsel rates challenged

BY David Carroll on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM

On April 6, 2011, the Atlantic Center for Constitutional Representation (ACCR) filed a motion in four court-appointed death penalty cases arguing that the rate of attorney compensation Philadelphia County pays in capital cases is so low as to be unconstitutional, as reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  The petition seeks one of two remedies: a) adequate compensation in each of the four cases, or b) not allowing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to seek the death penalty in each case.

Houston Chronicle calls for the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Texas

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

The Houston Chronicle started off 2011 by calling for the abolition of the death penalty in Texas in a January 1st editorial.  The position was taken, in part, because of the very real likelihood that Texas has executed two innocent people.  The September 2009 edition of the New Yorker has an excellent expose on the Cameron Todd Willingham case and the work of The Innocence Project on his behalf.  The Innocence Project also has further information on the case of Claude Jones.  The Chronicle notes that a drop in the number of death sentences has occurred since the Texas legislature passed a life-without-parole statute in 2005. 

Gideon Alert: right to counsel threatened after Utah public defender office closes

BY David Carroll on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Utah statutes require a measure of quality in the provision of right to counsel services.  By law, counties must provide “timely representation by competent legal counsel” who must have “undivided loyalty” to their clients and the “investigatory resources n

Gideon Alert: Oklahoma indigent defense system in crisis

BY David Carroll on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 7:06 AM

The Oklahoma Indigent Defense System (OIDS) was created in the early 1990’s to represent all indigent adults and juveniles in 75 counties.  Staff public defenders handle all serious felony cases, death cases, direct appeals and post-conviction, while contract attorneys handle other felonies, misdemeanors and delinquency cases.  The two major urban counties (Tulsa

Gideon Alert: Georgia's right to counsel in the shadow of the death penalty

BY David Carroll on Friday, March 26, 2010 at 12:33 PM

A divided (4-3) Georgia Supreme Court handed down a decision yesterday to allow a death penalty case to proceed, despite serious concerns about resources to provide the defendant a constitutionally-adequate defense, as reported in the New York Times