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November 20, 2008

"Ethics dilemma for lawyers when inmates seek death"

The title of this post is the title of this interesting piece from the AP, which discusses at length one of the hardest lawyering issues that surround representation of death-eligible offenders.  Here are snippets:

About 12 percent of the 1,133 inmates executed in the U.S. since 1977 abandoned their appeals and asked for their sentences to be carried out, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the center and a law professor at Catholic University in Washington. Each time, the inmate either fired the defense lawyer or told them to stop filing appeals. "It amounts to the same thing," Dieter said.

Attorneys are required to follow the client's wishes or have themselves removed from the case, said Michael Mello, a Vermont Law School professor who teaches ethics and death penalty law. "Their hands are pretty well tied," Mello said. "These are the cases that haunt you. This is the most hideous of cases."

November 20, 2008 at 09:29 AM | Permalink


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yeah that would be kind of a downer for a lawyer. im glad i havent had to defend any inmates on death row

Posted by: maryland criminal lawyer | Nov 21, 2008 3:40:32 PM

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