A new study of Virginia capital cases by University of Virginia law professor Brandon Garrett concludes that the precipitous decline in new death sentences in the Commonwealth over the past decade may be largely attributable to improved defense representation at the trial court level. "The impact of improved lawyering is striking," Garrett said, and suggests the need for representation by "a team of specialist capital defense lawyers and investigators ... that understand[s] the very different way that a death penalty case must be litigated from its inception." http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/6278. The paper may be accessed here.
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