The evening of September 26th, WilmerHale was one of two law firms honored at the American Bar Association (ABA) Death Penalty Representation Project’s 21st Anniversary & Volunteer Recognition Event in Chicago for its pro bono work representing death row prisoners. The ABA Death Penalty Representation Project seeks to raise awareness of the lack of legal representation available to death row prisoners.
WilmerHale's commitment to providing pro bono representation to defendants under the sentence of death has spanned decades and involved the representation of 12 death row inmates. Recent successes include a significant victory in December 2006 for Vernon Evans, Maryland death row inmate, when the Maryland Court of Appeals held that the procedures for implementing lethal injection were adopted without complying with the state’s Administrative Procedure Act and indefinitely postponed Vernon Evans’s death. In August 2006, the firm obtained a victory for Virginia death-row client Darick Walker when the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, reversing its own prior holding, permitted Walker to go forward with a Brady claim, finding that prosecutors had suppressed statements that would have undermined a key witness's trial testimony. In 2005, WilmerHale also won a major victory in the Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons, in which the firm successfully contended that the Eighth Amendment forbids the death penalty for offenders under the age of eighteen; the decision affected over seventy death-row prisoners who had been convicted for crimes committed as juveniles.
For more information on the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project, click here.
To learn more about WilmerHale’s commitment to pro bono work, click here.
Robin M. Maher, Director of the ABA Death Penalty Presentation Project, presents WilmerHale Partner Steve Hut with the ABA Exceptional Service Award for Death Penalty Representation.
WilmerHale Associate Anne Harden Tindall, Partner Steve Hut, Associate Kalea Seitz Clark and former WilmerHale Associate Anne Geraghty celebrate the ABA Exceptional Service Award for Death Penalty Representation.
WilmerHale Partner Steve Hut accepts the ABA Exceptional Service Award for Death Penalty Representation and addresses the event attendees.
Photographs by Mary Hanlon