James Liebman, history
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James Liebman, anti-death penalty criminal defense attorney

The press statement released in June 2000 by James Liebman, which attacks the imposition of capital punishment in the United States, was consistently labeled by the media as a study performed by Columbia University Law School. This characterization misled the public into the impression that the Liebman paper was the product of independent, neutral scholarship, without political motives.

In reality, Liebman is a criminal defense attorney who has actively represented death row murderers for two decades. This work began long before his current teaching position at Columbia, and continues into the present.

Indeed, the Liebman anti-death penalty project was the product of a $50,000 grant from the Soros Foundation, a liberal organization opposed to capital punishment. The grant was specifically targeted at "find[ing] effective ways to curb the [death] penalty's use." During the same period, the Soros Foundation made similar grants to numerous other pro-defense attorney, anti-capital punishment groups, including the ACLU, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Below is a list of published appeals court cases in which Liebman appeared as counsel on behalf of the criminal defendant.

Matteo v. Superintendent, SCI Albion, 171 F.3d 877 (3d Cir. 1999)
In re Elmer Gerard Pratt, 69 Cal. App. 4th 1294, 82 Cal. Rptr. 2d 260 (1999)
Lindh v. Murphy, 124 F.3d 899 (7th Cir. 1997)
Martin v. Bissonette, 118 F.3d 871 (1st Cir. 1997)
Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 117 S. Ct. 2059 (1997)
Lindh v. Murphy, 96 F.3d 856 (7th Cir. 1996)
Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419, 115 S. Ct. 1555 (1995)
Houston v. Dutton, 50 F.3d 381 (6th Cir. 1995)
Wright v. West, 505 U.S. 277, 112 S. Ct. 2482 (1992)
Lewis v. Jeffers, 497 U.S. 764, 110 S. Ct. 3092 (1990)
Lockhart v. McCrae, 476 U.S. 162, 106 S. Ct. 1758 (1986)
Ross v. Kemp, 785 F.2d 1467 (11th Cir. 1986)
Spencer v. Kemp, 781 F.2d 1458 (11th Cir. 1986)
Mitchell v. Kemp, 762 F.2d 886 (11th Cir. 1985)
Ross v. Kemp, 756 F.2d 1483 (11th Cir. 1985)
Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821, 105 S. Ct. 1649 (1985)
Spencer v. Zant, 729 F.2d 1293 (11th Cir. 1984)
Enmund v. State, 439 So. 2d 1383 (Fla. 1983)
Ross v. Hopper, 716 F.2d 1528 (11th Cir. 1983)
Spencer v. Zant, 715 F.2d 1562 (11th Cir. 1983)
Supreme Court of United States v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 889, 103 S. Ct. 3383 (1983)
Barclay v. Florida, 463 U.S. 939, 103 S. Ct. 3418 (1983)
Mitchell v. Hopper, 564 F. Supp. 780 (S.D. Ga. 1983)
Collins v. Lockhart, 707 F.2d 341 (8th Cir. 1983)
Smith v. Zant, 301 S.E.2d 32 (Ga. 1983)
Holtan v. Parratt, 683 F.2d 1163 (8th Cir. 1982)
Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782, 102 S. Ct. 3368 (1982)
Washington v. Watkins, 662 F.2d 1116 (5th Cir. 1980)
Washington v. Watkins, 655 F.2d 1346 (5th Cir. 1981)
Hines v. State, 384 So. 2d 1171 (Ala. 1980)