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No Defense: Shortcut to Death Row

Stephen Henderson, Supreme Court correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, evaluated the quality of defense lawyering in four states, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama and Virginia in a three-part series based on in-depth review of 80 cases from 1997 to 2004. By failing to investigate their clients' histories, lawyers in these 73 cases fell far short of the 20-year-old professional standards set by the American Bar Association. Their performances also appear inconsistent with standards that the U.S. Supreme Court has mandated several times."

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