State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1                          SENATE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, Many persons sentenced to death in Illinois have
 3    had  their  convictions  overturned  because  of  ineffective
 4    assistance of trial counsel; and

 5        WHEREAS, Presently there are  no  minimum  standards  for
 6    counsel in death penalty cases; and

 7        WHEREAS,  Limiting  counsel in capital cases to attorneys
 8    experienced in criminal law and  death  penalty  cases  would
 9    eliminate  problems  that  now  form  the basis for avoidable
10    appellate reversals and retrials; and

11        WHEREAS,  The  Illinois  Supreme  Court  has   rulemaking
12    authority to address these issues; therefore be it

14    ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, That we respectfully  urge
15    the  Illinois  Supreme  Court  to  adopt rules to provide the
16    following:
17             1.  That each  defendant  charged  with  an  offense
18        where  the  State  intends to seek the death penalty have
19        two attorneys retained  or  appointed  to  represent  the
20        defendant,  with  one  attorney  designated  as  the lead
21        attorney and the other designated as second chair;
22             2.  That all attorneys who represent  defendants  in
23        capital  cases  have  a  minimum  of experience, such as,
24        being licensed for at least 7 years; having  participated
25        in  a minimum of 8 jury trials; having the recommendation
26        of at least two circuit judges who presided at those jury
27        trials;  and  having  attended  capital  cases   training
28        programs;
29             3.  That   capital   cases   training   programs  be
30        established for attorneys to improve skills necessary for
31        representing defendants in capital cases;  and  that  the
32        training  programs  utilize  individuals  recommended  by
                            -2-                LRB9112990OBmg
 1        circuit   judges   experienced   in   criminal   law,  in
 2        consultation with bar associations, law  school  faculty,
 3        and other persons knowledge in criminal law; and
 4             4.  That   a  certification  process  for  attorneys
 5        qualified to defend capital cases be established; and  be
 6        it further

 7        RESOLVED,  That  a copy of this resolution be sent to the
 8    Illinois Supreme Court.

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