Life imprisonment has replaced the death penalty as the most common sentence imposed for heinous crimes worldwide. Consequently, it has become the leading issue of international criminal justice reform. In the first survey of its kind, Dirk van Zyl Smit and Catherine Appleton argue for a human rights–based reappraisal of this harsh punishment.
"Anyone who cares about capital punishment should read this compelling, lucid account of the obstacles defense attorneys face and the strategies they adopt."
--John Parry, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
"With its compelling narratives of cases, strategies, and ethical dilemmas, Litigating in the Shadow of Death is difficult to put down. . . . This pathbreaking book encapsulates the experience of the most respected capital defenders in America and shows how they save even the worst of the worst from execution. It also shows how sleeping and otherwise incompetent lawyers bring death sentences to their clients. Litigating in the Shadow of Death explores the lawyers' tasks at every stage of the criminal process--investigation, client interviewing, conferring with victims' families, plea bargaining, trial, appeal, and post-conviction proceedings."
--Albert W. Alschuler, Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Criminology, University of Chicago
"A unique and profoundly important contribution to the literature on the death penalty. White allows the leading capital defense attorneys to speak in their own voices. His work reveals a new source of arbitrariness in the death system--whether the penalty is imposed turns more on who is your lawyer than on how evil was your deed or your character. Litigating in the Shadow of Death offers concrete guidelines for better lawyering, protection of the innocent, and understanding the artistry of the best capital attorneys. This is vivid, gripping stuff."
--Andrew Taslitz, Professor of Law, Howard University
"A most illuminating book by a splendid writer and an eminent critic of the capital punishment system."
--Yale Kamisar, Professor of Law, University of San Diego
"Welsh White has written another excellent book on the death penalty--this one on how defense attorneys in capital cases successfully prevent the state from executing their clients. Based on original research, Litigating in the Shadow of Death is informative and insightful. This is a book that all serious students of American capital punishment must read."
--Richard Leo, University of California, Irvine
Welsh S. White was Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair and Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh.
By all accounts, Jovan Mosley was a good kid. He was working on a way out of his tough Chicago neighborhood and had been accepted at Ohio State University when he was forced to confess to a murder he did not commit. He then spent five years and ten months in jail without a trial. His efforts to exonerate himself got him nowhere until he happened to meet a successful criminal defense lawyer, Catharine O’Daniel. She became convinced of his innocence and took him on as her first pro bono client. Along with Laura Caldwell, she decided to fight to free Jovan. Against enormous odds, they finally won some measure of justice. In this affecting memoir, Caldwell tells the unforgettable story of a breakdown in the criminal justice system and what it took to free an innocent man.