May 2013 Vol. 111 No. 7 THE REVIEW

Counsel's Control over the Presentation of Mitigating Evidence During Capital Sentencing

James Michael Blakemore

The Sixth Amendment gives a defendant the right to control his defense and the right to a lawyer's assistance. A lawyer's assistance, however, sometimes interferes with a defendant's control over his case. As a result, the Supreme Court, over time, has had to delineate the spheres of authority that pertain to counsel and defendant respectively. The Court has not yet decisively assigned control over mitigating evidence to either counsel or defendant. This Note argues that counsel should control the presentation of mitigating evidence during capital sentencing. First, and most importantly, decisions concerning the presentation of mitigating evidence are best characterized as strategic, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel allocates strategic decisions to attorneys. Second, the criminal justice system's need for reliable and legitimate outcomes-a need that reaches its zenith during capital sentencing-outweighs a capital defendant's limited claims to autonomy.

   //  VIEW PDF
& Other Current Events

Crawford v. Washington: A Ten Year Retrospective

No one disputes the significance of Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), which fundamentally transformed Confrontation...

Come Back to the Boat, Justice Breyer!

I want to get Justice Breyer back on the right side of Confrontation Clause issues. In 1999, in Lilly...

Crawford v. Washington: The Next Ten Years

Imagine a world . . . in which the Supreme Court got it right the first time. That is,...

The Crawford Debacle

First a toast-to my colleague Jeff Fisher and his Crawford compatriot, Richard Friedman, on the...

Confrontation and the Re-Privatization of Domestic Violence

When the Supreme Court transformed the right of confrontation in Crawford v. Washington, the prosecution...
MAILING LIST
Sign Up to Join Our Mailing List