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Letters to the 107th Congress

July 5, 2001

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Re: June 27 Hearing on Ensuring Effective Counsel in Capital Cases

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Enclosed is the written testimony of Dean Norman Lefstein on behalf of the American Bar Association regarding the above-captioned subject. We would appreciate your including Dean Lefstein's testimony in the record of the hearing.

We commend you for holding these hearings on the critical role of competent counsel in capital litigation. As your hearings have underscored, an alarming number of death row inmates recently have been discovered to be innocent of the capital offenses for which they were convicted. The American Bar Association strongly believes that providing qualified counsel at trial and at all subsequent stages of capital litigation will not only assure fairness and reduce delays and retrials but will also minimize the risk that innocent persons will be convicted or that one convicted of a capital crime may be inappropriately sentenced to death.

Thank you again for your leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with you and your Senate colleagues on crafting legislation to ensure that all capital defendants receive adequate counsel.


Robert D. Evans
Director, Governmental Affairs Office

cc: Members, Committee on the Judiciary


107th Congress Letters Home

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740 Fifteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
ph: 202-662-1760
fx: 202-662-1762

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