Friday, July 11, 2008

European organizations assisting lawyers for justice on death row

Amicus and Reprieve are charities that assist those representing impoverished people facing execution across the world. They offer legal and humanitarian assistance by placing individuals in capital defence offices throughout the United States.

What they say about themselves

provides frontline investigation and legal representation to prisoners denied justice by powerful governments across the world, especially those governments that should be upholding the highest standards when it comes to fair trials.
Reprieve lawyers represent people facing the death penalty, particularly in the USA, or when those facing execution are British nationals. And we represent prisoners denied justice in the name of the ‘War on Terror’, including those held without charge or trial in Guantánamo Bay and the countless secret prisons beyond. None of these prisoners can afford to pay for representation.

It has been said that you can judge a society by how it treats people accused of violating its laws. Through the example set by the world’s most influential nations, fundamental human rights principles stand or fall across the world.

Reprieve uses international and domestic law as a tool to save lives, deliver justice and make the case for world-wide reform.

Amicus was set up in 1992 in memory of Andrew Lee Jones, who was executed in Louisiana in July 1991. The charity aims to help provide legal representation for those awaiting capital trial and punishment in the US and raise awareness of potential abuses of their rights.

Amicus relies on the generosity of volunteers and donors to continue to support those facing the death penalty in the United States. We need help to:

train UK lawyers and students to go and work in the US alongside attorneys (we send over twenty interns a year)
research particular areas of law, and also draft amicus curiae briefs to be presented to US courts
make applications to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Washington about breaches of the American Declaration of Human Rights in death penalty trials
provide trained trial observers to report on individual cases

The charities have joined together to present a training programme (run each year in the Spring and Autumn) that provides practical as well as theoretical skills to assist defence counsel with the representation of those facing execution in the US. Please find more information about this training here

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