The Minnesota State Bar Foundation upholds its commitment to justice with its support of the Innocence Project of Minnesota. IPMN is pleased to announce that the Minnesota State Bar Foundation has awarded IPMN a $2,000 grant. Thanks to the generous support of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation, IPMN can continue to fulfill its mission of fighting to free the innocent in Minnesota and the Dakotas. IPMN survives and thrives on the financial support of those in our community and we are extremely grateful to count the Minnesota State Bar Foundation as one of our supporters. We truly could not do this work without your support!
Steve Kaplan is of counsel to the Minneapolis law firm Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. and a member of the Innocence Project of Minnesota board of directors. The following is the first in a series of articles addressing factors that contribute to the wrongful conviction of actually innocent people.
The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution afford an accused the right to the “effective” assistance of counsel. Decades ago, the Supreme Court defined “effective” assistance as the right to a defense lawyer who was “zealous” and “active.”
The ABA Criminal Justice Standards for the Defense Function also broadly defines the right as based on the lawyer’s duty to “serve as the accused’s counselor and advocate with courage, devotion, and to the utmost of his or her learning and ability and according to law.”
What exactly, however, does that mean the defense lawyer must do when a client is accused of a serious crime that may result in decades or life in prison or, indeed, lethal injection in the death house?Read More
The Innocence Project of Minnesota has been advocating for statewide adoption of eyewitness identitication best practices by all state law enforcement agencies in an effort to prevent eyewitness misidentifications and ensure that law enforcement has the best possible evidence to convict the real perpetrators and keep the public safe.Read More