Sudden Death: A Federal Trial Judge's Reflections on the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases

27 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2014 Last revised: 15 Aug 2018

See all articles by Mark W. Bennett

Mark W. Bennett

U.S. District Court (Northern District of Iowa); Independent; Drake University - Law School

Date Written: December 1, 2013

Abstract

An experienced federal district judged discuss the role of the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases. This includes his personal experiences from two lengthy federal death penalty trials where both defendants received the death penalty. The Guidelines were even more crucial in a 18 trial day, 28 U.S.C. 2255 proceeding, where the judge granted an new penalty phase re-trial based, in part, on significant ineffective assistance of counsel for many violations of the Guidelines and the 6th Amendment. It is a sad narrative of what can go wrong when the Guidelines are not scrupulously followed and the benefits of the Guidelines to all involved in the death penalty process.

Suggested Citation

Bennett, Mark W., Sudden Death: A Federal Trial Judge's Reflections on the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases (December 1, 2013). Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 42, p. 391, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2508664

Mark W. Bennett (Contact Author)

U.S. District Court (Northern District of Iowa) ( email )

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Independent ( email )

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Drake University - Law School ( email )

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