In Strickland v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court issued a seminal holding that single-handedly rendered it nearly impossible for a capital defendant to demonstrate that he was the victim of ineffective assistance of counsel at the underlying trial or at sentencing. Indeed, due in substantial part to the fact that "Strickland was not intended to impose rigorous standards on criminal defense attorneys," the Court found ineffective assistance of counsel in only one case over the next sixteen years. Critically, however, during this time, both state and federal courts bore witness to some of the most horrific examples of death penalty representation in the history of criminal jurisprudence. Consequently, this Article will attempt to remedy the problem of ineffective assistance of counsel by proposing sweeping changes to: (1) the manner in which capital defendants are represented; and (2) the method by which their cases are reviewed on appeal.
Establishing Guidelines for Attorney Representation of Criminal Defendants at the Sentencing Phase of Capital Trials,
Me. L. Rev.
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