Death Penalty Cases Require Qualified Lawyers

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The death penalty is becoming more prevalent these days. For many years states had abolished the imposition of this fatal punishment, but in recent times the need to bring it back has apparently arisen in several jurisdictions. At the same time, there have been many instances of defendants who were wrongly accused and found guilty of crimes they did not commit being given the death sentence. This was especially true before modern technology gave us DNA testing and other means of proving or disproving a suspect's culpability. In any event, the need for criminal defense lawyers, and the number of jobs available to them, is now greater than ever.

What Skills Are Necessary in a Qualified Death Penalty Lawyer?

When a defendant is found guilty of a crime that is grounds for the death penalty, the counsel for the defendant must be in top form. The defense team's death penalty-related knowledge must be of the highest order. Some of the requirements for a defense team in such cases include the following:
  • The defense team must have no fewer than two criminal lawyers, one of whom should be an investigator and one of whom should be a specialist in getting reduced sentences.
  • One of the members of the team should have the training to recognize any mental impairments in the defendant.
  • Counsel must have access to any experts and/or investigative services necessary for the level of defense required.
  • Attorneys for the defense in a death penalty case must have a better than average understanding of the laws governing the death penalty. One of the criminal lawyers should have the skill levels necessary to research and draft the documents needed to contest the sentence. Great communication skills are also a necessity for this legal job.
  • Circumstances that may prove the crime was not as severe as stated by the prosecuting attorney should be well researched by the defense team and presented as evidence. It does not hurt to be an eloquent speaker when it comes to selecting jurors, cross-examining witnesses, and making opening and closing statements.
  • A criminal defense lawyer must know how to question witnesses in order to get the expert testimony that could save his or her client.

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