Justice Stevens Speaks
Justice Stevens rather undersells the problem of the quality of defense lawyers. Bad defense work is one of the consistent themes of wrongful convictions, capital and other. Still, the issues that he raises should play a bigger role in reform efforts. Lessening the use of peremptory challenges to prospective jurors could reduce prosecutors' ability to eliminate jurors who would bring balance to capital juries. And the role of victim-impact statements certainly deserves a fresh look.