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April 16, 2007

Capital punishment news and notes

Perhaps it is fitting to have a capital punishment post right after a report on today's horrific mass shooting in Virginia.  In this post, however, I will only point to all the new and significant capital punishment developments covered well in new posts at:

Among all the important stories covered at these blogs, I hope my students (and others) will be sure to chack out this Cincinnati Enquirer article entitled "Fatal mistakes: When death sentences are overturned, it's usually because the accused killer's lawyer made them."   It confirms my view that anyone interested in a well-functioning capital punishment system needs to put a lot more resources into capital defense services.

April 16, 2007 at 05:29 PM | Permalink

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Also, Connecticut's death penalty discretion hearings continued last week. 11 out of 13 prosecutors have testified thus far and only one has said that he has no discretion in applying the death penalty (The Waterbury state's attorney, out of which jurisdiction come 5 out of the 8 death row inmates).

http://apublicdefender.com/2007/04/15/two-more-prosecutors-testify-in-dp-discretion-trial/

There's also a bill to mandate the imposition of a life sentence where the jury is deadlocked during the penalty phase. This bill made it out of committee.

Posted by: Gideon | Apr 16, 2007 6:15:07 PM

From the article:

Prosecutors say the real problem is federal judges who put too much emphasis on defense mistakes.

They say those mistakes don't always add up to an unfair trial, especially when there is strong evidence of guilt.

"You can second guess and be a Monday morning quarterback all day long," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. "If you want to find a problem, you can find it."

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Apr 16, 2007 6:16:30 PM

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