A former death row inmate from Louisiana in the USA is the key note speaker at a fundraising event hosted by the Society in partnership with legal charity Amicus on Thursday, 20 October.
Lane Nelson will speak about his experience on death row and his efforts to avert injustice in the capital system in the United States following his release. He will also highlight the difference that volunteer lawyers can make to the lives of those on death row.
He will be joined at the Law Society’s Edinburgh offices by guest speakers Cameron Ritchie, president of the Law Society of Scotland, Catherine Dyer, crown agent and chief executive of COPFS, and human rights lawyer John Scott QC.
The event is being held to raise funds for the charity which was founded in memory of Andrew Lee Jones who was executed in 1991 in Louisiana. He was found guilty of kidnapping, rape and murder and sentenced to death despite a lack of scientific evidence from the prosecution.
Cameron Ritchie, president of the Law Society, said: “Amicus does a great deal of good work to highlight injustice in the capital system in the US and there are many who have benefited from the assistance it provides to lawyers representing those who might not otherwise have a proper defence. It is an important reminder to us all that whatever financial restrictions we might currently be facing, we must all work to ensure that our own legal system in Scotland is just and fair and that we endeavour to prevent any potential miscarriage of justice.”
Amicus 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. It provides remote support for case preparation via its casework programme and each year, it places 20 to 30 legally qualified interns with capital defence attorneys and other organisations throughout US states that have the death penalty. In addition three recipients of the charity's funding to date have completed their US legal education and are practising full time as capital defence attorneys.
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