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Kaye Scholer Represents Three of ABA's Significant Pro Bono Death Penalty Victories

April 26, 2007

Three Kaye Scholer pro bono death penalty victories were cited by the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project as significant pro bono successes. Kaye Scholer is a recognized leader in defense work for death penalty cases and has a long history of representing indigent death row inmates who were sentenced under circumstances in violation of their constitutional rights.

The American Bar Association created the Death Penalty Representation Project in 1986 with the goals to better inform the bar and the public about the lack of representation available to death row inmates, to address this urgent need by recruiting competent, volunteer attorneys and to offer counsel training and assistance. The Project also works for systemic changes that would assure those facing death are represented at all stages of the proceedings —from trial through clemency— by qualified, adequately compensated counsel.

The three Kaye Scholer pro bono successes on the list are:

In 2006, Virginia halted the execution of a severely mentally impaired man. The Governor granted a reprieve of 18 months for further evaluation of the individual's condition. The stay was granted in response to a clemency petition filed by Kaye Scholer.

Also in 2006, Kaye Scholer convinced a federal court in Alabama that our pro bono client was entitled to a new sentencing hearing or to have his death sentence vacated by the State of Alabama. The court concluded that our client received ineffective assistance of counsel when his trial counsel failed to investigate and present evidence at sentencing regarding his mental retardation.

In 2005, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an inmate's death sentence and conviction for aggravated felony murder. Kaye Scholer filed an amicus brief on behalf of the UK government in support of the client's successful 6th Circuit appeal.


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