Tennessee Death Penalty Committee Recommends Changes in Representation Standards

A legislative committee created to study the death penalty in Tennessee has recommended ways to ensure capital cases are handled fairly and effectively. The committee approved a resolution that asks lawmakers to create a statewide authority whose duties would include identifying lawyers experienced in capital cases, raising the standard pay for such attorneys, and monitoring their caseloads.

Thomas Lee, a Tennessee attorney on the committee, said such an authority would help ensure that “trials are done right the first time.” The committee, created last year after the state legislature decided Tennessee’s death penalty system needed to be examined for fairness and accuracy, will present its findings to the Governor and lawmakers.



(Associated Press, “Committee offers plan to improve death penalty system,” December 9, 2008). See Recent Legislative Activity and Representation.