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Capital Case Training Improvement Project

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $198,564)

The purpose of the Capital Case Litigation Initiative (CCLI) is to provide high-quality training and technical assistance on death penalty issues to prosecutors and defense counsel who litigate death penalty cases. This program focuses on ensuring quality representation in death penalty cases and trials. The goals of CCLI are to increase the number of capital litigation attorneys trained in death penalty cases, and to ensure that defense counsel and prosecutors have the most up-to-date and comprehensive information available to them on death penalty litigation.

The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) will utilize the CCLI grant funds to train defense counsel and prosecutors. Four trainings for each discipline will be held. The North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) will coordinate the defense training while the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys (NCCDA) will coordinate the prosecutorial training sessions.

The trainings for the defense counsel will increase the trial skills of participants by focusing on topics like voir dire, identifying case themes, and presenting mitigation evidence. The AOC has recognized a need for younger attorneys to be added to the capital roster and the need for training attorneys who are in underrepresented parts of the state. IDS will partner with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation (CDPL) to create a training for less-experienced attorneys not on the capital roster, and a training for more experienced attorneys already doing capital defense work. Each training session will be available to 25 defense attorneys, for a total of 100 defense attorneys trained through this award.

The prosecutorial trainings, led by NCCDA, will update current capital case prosecutors or prosecutors currently prosecuting serious felonies who are poised to move into the capital litigation arena. Topics for the programs will include capital litigation law, mental health, forensic science, technological assistance, and victims' rights. Each of the four prosecutorial programs will train 30 prosecutors for a total of 120 prosecutors receiving training.


Date Created: September 7, 2010