Death Penalty Certified Lawyer in Pennsylvania
Facing the Death Penalty in Pennsylvania
Learn about the death penalty in Pennsylvania and what to do if you or a loved one is facing accusations or criminal homicide charges. Facing the death penalty is a pivotable moment in a person’s life. Is it the time to reach out to an inexperienced criminal attorney or a former prosecutor who touts his convictions but lacks experience gaining murder acquittals? Before it’s too late, call our team. Facing murder charges anywhere in Pennsylvania and need help, call the Ciccarelli Legal Team at (610) 692-8700.
Getting the Best Defense where you are facing the Death Penalty
Reach out tothe Ciccarelli Legal Team, when you are facing the death penalty for murder in the greater Philadelphia metro area, including Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County and throughout Pennsylvania. Then ask yourself, why you are not calling now and scheduling a time to meet with Ciccarelli Legal Team. Call now at (610) 692-8700.
Our team of lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices is ready to fight for you. When the threat of prosecution for homicide and murder is real, you need to look for the best options and find a top murder defense team serving Chester County and beyond. Based in West Chester (Chester County) in the Philadelphia Metro Area, the Ciccarelli Legal Team defends the rights of murder and homicide defendants throughout Pennsylvania.
Information on a Chester County Death Penalty Charge
In 2004, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts announced that Pennsylvania capital murder case attorneys would be bound by minimum qualification standards and Pennsylvania certification. In other words, those attorneys representing a client who could be sentenced to the death penalty would be required to have specific experience, training and education. The educational qualifications necessary for an attorney to represent a defendant charged with first-degree murder are administered by the Continuing Legal Education Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The Board maintains a list of lawyers who have satisfactorily completed the educational requirements for capital cases. As far as experience goes, the appointing or admitting court will determine the level of experience required. The goal of these changes was to reassure the residents of Pennsylvania that the judicial system is an equitable one, systematic in its application Pennsylvania laws.
Few Certified Death-Penalty Attorneys in the State as of 2013
Unfortunately, since the time these changes were implemented, there are not very many lawyers in the state who are qualified to try a death penalty case. In fact, when a judge in Blair County attempted to appoint a death penalty certified attorney to represent a defendant in a capital case in 2013, there were only two attorneys who were properly qualified and certified. This lack of death penalty-qualified attorneys in Blair County was apparently the same throughout the state, according to the state Supreme Court, who noted that fewer attorneys were maintaining certification requirements necessary to try a capital murder case. As of 2013, the problem was so severe in Philadelphia, that the state Supreme Court authorized a study to determine why there was such a lack of certified death penalty attorneys across the state.
What the Study Found
What the study concluded was that the most significant reason for the lack of death penalty certified attorneys was due to the lack of compensation involved in defending a capital murder case. As an example, in 2013, Blair County attorneys were paid a flat fee between $5,000 and $7,500 for their representation of a defendant facing the death penalty. That being said, it was found that death penalty representation is much more complex, and goes much deeper than the fee structure alone. Attorneys with smaller private practices must take weeks, or months to prepare for and try a death-penalty case, which most certainly detracts from the attorney’s other clients.
In short, death penalty cases are a lot of work and require a lot of time. To be a certified death-penalty attorney, annual classes are necessary—seminars which teach the many unique issues associated with capital murder cases—investigation techniques, preparation strategies and jury selection, to name a few. In fact, according to many attorneys, it takes approximately twice the number of hours in preparation for a death penalty case than for a non-death-penalty murder case.
Some Attorneys Feel Death-Penalty Certified Lawyers Have a Higher Calling
Other attorneys dispute the fact that taking on a death penalty case has little to do with money or time, rather feel it is one of the highest legal callings. A Pennsylvania death-penalty attorney goes through the certification process, including the educational requirements because he or she wants to ensure our criminal justice system works as it should. Death-penalty attorneys are the buffer between a citizen and the legal system, and are often the last hope of the person being charged with capital murder. The Constitution can really be put to the test in a capital murder case, therefore having a Pennsylvania death penalty certified lawyer could truly make the difference between the death penalty and life in prison—or even lesser penalties.
What Constitutes a Death Penalty Case in Pennsylvania?
Currently, the state of Pennsylvania is one of thirty-one states in the United States where the death penalty remains a legal punishment. Death penalty cases are extremely difficult, making the choice of a death-penalty-certified attorney very important. Currently, the following crimes in the state of Pennsylvania fall under the death-penalty statute:
- The killing of a person known to be in her third trimester of pregnancy
- The killing of a person under the age of twelve
- The killing of a person when that killing creates grave risk of death to another victim
- The killing of a state or local law enforcement officer
- The killing of a public servant while on duty
- The killing of a peace officer while on duty
- The killing of a fireman while on duty
Obviously, these crimes are very grave, with very harsh penalties. Perhaps you were wrongly accused, or perhaps there are mitigating circumstances surrounding your crime. Whatever your situation, having a death-penalty certified lawyer in your corner who is uniquely equipped to handle all the aspects of your case and deliver a defense which is a step above those required for other criminal offenses, is of the utmost importance.
Get The “Right Defense” When facing Pennsylvania Death Penalty Murder Charges
When you or a loved one is facing death penalty murder allegations or charges, gain the benefit and experience of the Ciccarelli Legal Team. Our team brings years of experience defending clients, demanding justice and fighting for acquittals. Our team is ready to represent you when you are facing homicide and murder charges in Pennsylvania. We are based in based in suburban Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us at (610) 692-8700.