Study: Better Legal Defense Leads to Fewer Death Penalties

“He found that the sentencing phase for the older group of trials averaged less than two days while the average for the more recent trials was four days. That’s because defense lawyers are calling more witnesses than before to present evidence that could help their clients.”

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via @ABC

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2 thoughts on “Study: Better Legal Defense Leads to Fewer Death Penalties

  1. The N C Supreme Court (November 2015) vacated rulings in four historic Racial Justice Act cases, saying that the judge erred when he did not give prosecutors more time to respond to a statistical study about race in the North Carolina courts. By this ruling, the decision of Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Weeks finding that racial bias had played a role in the sentencing of four death row inmates was overturned. Under the recently invalidated Racial Justice Act, death row inmates, when racial bias in jury selection entered the picture, death penalty inmates saw their sentences commuted to life in prison without the possibility for parole. Racial Justce Act advocates in North Carolina have maintained that a 20 year study (1990-2010) in NC had shown that qualified black jurors were more than twice as likely as whites to be removed from juries by prosecutors with peremptory strikes.

  2. In a ten-year study at Louisiana’s Caddo Parish (see https//blackstrikes.com) between 2003 and 2012, blacks were under-represented in the Jury-section process, resulting in more convictions. “Over the course of 332 trials, State prosecutors struck,, using peremptory challenges So until we can reverse this odious process, I fail to see how better criminal defense can help!

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