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Death penalty lawyers defend their work

September 4, 2014
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania group that represents death row inmates says its record of preventing executions refutes criticism from the state's chief justice that it has improperly engaged in delay tactics and other methods.

The chairman of the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the group's lawyer issued a joint statement Thursday in response to a recommendation by Chief Justice Ronald Castille that the association's lawyers be banned from Pennsylvania courts. Castille made the recommendation in a 97-page, one-justice opinion.

Chairman David Rudovsky and attorney David Richman say what Castille calls the group's agenda is actually a type of advocacy that ethics rules require.

The group says it's a federal contractor and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering issues related to the justice's concerns.






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