Prof. Jeffrey Kirchmeier is quoted in a TribLive.com piece on the impact the scheduled execution of Hubert Michael, Jr. would have on the debate over the death penalty in Pennsylvania. “When you hear of a horrible crime, you want some severe swift punishment and that’s a normal reaction. But it’s different than when it actually takes place,” Kirchmeier said. “When it becomes reality, people start debating the cost of the death penalty, whether the procedures are fair, how can we make sure an innocent person isn’t executed… all these things serve as a practical matter when executions start taking place.” The U.S. Supreme Court has since affirmed a stay of execution issued by the Court of Appeals.
Kirchmeier has represented indigent capital defendants in state appeals, state post-conviction proceedings, federal habeas corpus proceedings and at clemency hearings as a staff attorney at the Arizona Capital Representation Project. He supervised and helped train capital defense attorneys throughout Arizona and was the editor of a quarterly legal publication on legal developments in the death penalty area. Kirchmeier is the author of numerous law review articles about criminal procedure, constitutional law, and the death penalty. He is a member (and former Chair) of the Capital Punishment Committee of the New York City Bar Association. He appeared before a New York Assembly joint committee deciding whether the death penalty should be reinstated in New York.