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President Judge Announces Measures to Provide Counsel for Cap Case Indigent Defendants
Acknowledging the "continuing cooperation and support of the Philadelphia Bar Association," Philadelphia Common Pleas Court President Judge Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson today announced measures which will help ensure equal representation for convicted indigent defendants who are facing the death penalty. Under the new directives approved by the Common Pleas Board of Judges a new mitigation counsel program has been established providing set fees and initiating training requirements for court appointed mitigation attorneys. Mitigation counsel will argue on behalf of those facing the death penalty by detailing mitigating circumstances in response to aggravating circumstances presented by the prosecution. The President Judge also announced an increase in fees for court-appointed lead counsel in homicide cases. The changes are effective July 1.