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November 10, 2009


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The U.S. Supreme Court today summarily reversed the Sixth Circuit for relying too much on ABA Guidelines when deciding a capital ineffective assistance case. There was no dissent. Justice Alito wrote separately to say he didn't think the Court had... [Read More]



"the Courts that follow and do not lead"

sounds elitist


what is the alternative to ABA guidelines? looking to actual practice in a state like Alabama with no public defender system, very few competent capital trial attorneys, and inadequate funding for trial and appellate counsel (total appellate compensation capped at $2000)?

A purely "descriptive" approach to reasonable performance under the 6th amendment would be a practical and moral disaster in many states, and would actually encourage states to water down the quality of defense representation.

Oscar in Miami beach

It is the standards of an elitist group that being composed of private people are based on their own interest.They do not represent the majority's views nor such any Court take their recommendations to based decisions on.The problem is that Judges are lawyers and so rather than think by themeselves and research the laws,they follow the dictates of the ABA as the Bible.The Courts are wrong but the Judges are to dumb to do otherwise.Shame on the Courts that follow and do not lead.


Of course, Alito is completely wrong in part.

The ABA is certainly not "venerable".

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