ABA Urges Supreme Court to Recognize Right to Effective Counsel in Initial Sixth Amendment Appeals
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2011 – Defendants asserting a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel should have a right to effective assistance of counsel at the first state court proceeding in which they can bring that claim, the American Bar Association told the U.S. Supreme Court in its amicus curiae brief in the case of Martinez v. Ryan.
Urging the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling, the brief asserts that recognition of a right to effective assistance of counsel at that stage “is paramount if state and federal post-conviction proceedings are to remain viable forums for enforcing a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to effective trial counsel.”
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the world’s largest voluntary professional membership organization. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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