A New Trial for a Death Row Inmate

November 28, 2011Duke Law News

Chris Christie (L '85) talks about representing death row inmate Victor Stephens. In 2011, a federal court granted Stephens a new trial. The State of Alabama had convicted Stephens of killing two men in a 1986 convenience store robbery. The jury recommended a sentence of life without parole. The trial judge, however, entered an order, drafted ex parte by the Assistant District Attorney, overriding the jury and sentencing Mr. Stephens to death. Christie discusses not only the travails of representing a death row inmate in hostile forums, but also all lawyers’ calling and duty to handle pro bono work.