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Capital punishment

Criminal Law

2007

Cornell University Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

"It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again": Williams V. Taylor, Wiggins V. Smith, Rompilla V. Beard And A (Partial) Return To The Guidelines Approach To The Effective Assistance Of Counsel, John H. Blume, Stacey D. Neumann Apr 2007

"It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again": Williams V. Taylor, Wiggins V. Smith, Rompilla V. Beard And A (Partial) Return To The Guidelines Approach To The Effective Assistance Of Counsel, John H. Blume, Stacey D. Neumann

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Shoddy lawyering in capital cases is well documented. Many defendants facing the death penalty end up on death row not because of the heinousness of the crime they committed but rather because of the poor quality of trial counsel's performance. Despite the acknowledgment of sometimes shockingly poor representation by academics, litigators and even judges, most post-conviction claims of ineffective assistance of counsel are unsuccessful. Why? The legal standard for adjudicating these allegations which the Court adopted in Strickland v. Washington, which requires a defendant to demonstrate that his lawyer's performance was outside the "wide range of competent assistance ...