Constitution Project Representatives Urge Congress to Restore Habeas corpus for Death Penalty Cases

Stephen Hanlon, Chair of the Project’s Board of Directors, and Chief Judge Gerald Kogan, Co-Chair of the Project’s Death Penalty Committee, testify

CONTACT: Matthew Allee,  (202) 580-6922 or

WASHINGTON – Two representatives of the Constitution Project will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties this afternoon at a hearing to consider the impact of limits on federal habeas corpus in death penalty cases. Stephen F. Hanlon, Chair of the Constitution Project’s Board of Directors, Chair of the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Moratorium Project Steering Committee, and partner at Holland and Knight, will testify on behalf of the ABA. The Honorable Gerald Kogan, Co-Chair of the Constitution Project’s Death Penalty Committee and former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, will testimony on behalf of the Constitution Project. Both will provide testimony on the urgent need to restore habeas corpus for death penalty cases.

In his testimony submitted to the Subcommittee, Chief Justice Kogan states in part:

“Mr. Hanlon adds in part:

“[S]tate governments have failed for many years to implement the necessary reforms to address long-standing and systemic problems in our death penalty counsel systems. Mistakes that occur at trial as a result of these failures are aggravated by ever-tightening restrictions on federal court review, making it difficult, if not impossible, for federal courts to correct even the most serious deprivation of constitutional rights. A system that wrongly sentences people to death and then erects considerable obstacles to bar judicial review of their cases is not a system that comports with our principles of justice. It should not surprise us that one consequence is a loss of public confidence in the integrity and accuracy of our legal system.”

Click here to see a full copy of Mr. Hanlon’s submitted testimony.

Click here to see a full copy of Chief Justice Kogan’s testimony.

Clcik here to view a copy of the Constitution Project’s Death Penalty Committee’s consensus report, Mandatory Justice: The Death Penalty Revisited, submitted into the record today.

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