Death Penalty Litigation

“Death is different.”      Ring v. Arizona, 586 U.S. 584 (2002).  

Death is not reversible and often evidence is not reliable.  Because the ultimate stakes are at risk, there is no more privileged or awesome responsibility in the law than defending someone who is facing the death penalty.  Adam Perlmutter and his team of lawyers have had the rare opportunity serve as lead trial counsel in a federal death penalty case through verdict: United States v. James McTier.  Between 1987 and 2010, there have been only 211 federal death penalties conducted in the United States.  New York State no longer has a death penalty so the federal government can seek the death penalty in New York within the federal courts in the rarest and most shocking of cases.

Adam Perlmutter’s successful death penalty defense of James McTier took approximately three years to litigate.  In order to assist in his efforts, Adam Perlmutter attended The  Bryan R. Shechmeister Death Penalty College at the Santa Clara University School of Law in Santa Clara, California.  During this intensive program, he learned the lastest cutting-edge strategies and skills for defending someone facing the possibility of the death penalty.  Mr. Perlmutter then ran a litigation team at trial of three lawyers, over ten experts with specialties in forensic psychology, neurology, social work and urban history, as well as two investigators.  The trial of a death penalty case is all consuming.  Everything else stops professionally during a death penalty trial even the firm’s other cases.  Someone’s life is on the line.  There is no room for error.

Perlmutter & McGuinness, P.C. have also successfully advocated to have the federal government not seek the death penalty.  For example, in the case of United States v. Thomas Gioeli, our client was charged with six murders including the first charged Mafia killing of a New York City police officer in a century.  Adam Perlmutter led an exhaustive background investigation about the client’s life and presented information from over 100 mitigation witnesses to demonstrate the firm’s readiness to present an effective mitigation case whenever it was needed.  The United States Attorney General declined to seek the death penalty against the client.  We believe it was because he knew that our work made obtaining the death penalty impossible.

We are proud of the work that we have done defending clients against the government seeking the ultimate penalty.  Death is different, and we are here to meet that challenge.