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Statement of Dennis W. Archer, President,
American Bar Association

Re: The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Banks v. Dretke

February 25, 2004 - The American Bar Association applauds the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the death sentence of Delma Banks Jr. due to serious prosecutorial misconduct. This decision makes clear that justice will not be short-changed on account of a prosecutor’s failure to disclose evidence helpful to the defendant. The Court’s decision protects the integrity of the criminal justice system and our right to a fair trial by recognizing that, as Justice Ginsburg explained, "a rule thus declaring ‘prosecutor may hide, defendant must seek’ is not tenable in a system constitutionally bound to accord defendants due process." The ruling confirms what the ABA argued in its amicus brief, that prosecutors must adhere to professional standards in seeking justice in the courts, standards such as the ABA Criminal Justice Standards.

For further information:
Contact: Nancy Slonim
Phone: 312/988-6132
E-mail: [email protected]

Contact: Stephanie Ortbals-Tibbs
Phone: 202/662-1092
E-mail: [email protected]