On May 25, 2011, DLA Piper filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) urging the United States Supreme Court to review the death sentence of Carl Puiatti. Mr. Puiatti was tried and sentenced with a co-defendant, in violation of the Constitution’s requirement that a jury consider each defendant as an individual before imposing a sentence of death.
Individualized determinations are essential in capital sentencing to ensure that mitigating evidence – such as facts about the defendants’ circumstances or background, or the circumstances about the offence in question – can be given meaningful consideration. In its representation of CCR, DLA Piper marshaled for the Court significant social science research indicating that jurors are far more likely to sentence criminal defendants to death when co-defendants are tried jointly.
To learn more regarding CCR’s position on the death penalty as a fundamental human rights abuse, read our October 2010 op ed.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.