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Crime Scene to Courtroom Forensics for Capital Litigators

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $400,000)

The FY 2015 Adjudication and Law Enforcement National Initiatives: Improving Responses to Criminal Justice Issues Competitive Grant Announcement focuses on national initiatives to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, specifically by (1) providing training and technical assistance (TTA) to jurisdictions engaged in problem-solving justice initiatives; (2) training judges on advanced criminal justice topics; (3) improving public trust and confidence in the court system by promoting procedural justice; (4) providing TTA to jurisdictions engaged in capital case litigation; (5) providing TTA to prosecutors interested in diverting addicted offenders to substance abuse treatment in lieu of prison; (6) convening prosecutors to implement innovative policies and strategies; and (7) developing an executive training session for police leadership.

The goal of the Capital Case Litigation Initiative is to improve the quality and effectiveness of representation in death penalty cases through training for both the prosecutors who represent the public and the defense attorneys who represent indigent defendants in state capital cases, specifically in the area of forensics. Because forensic evidence is critical to capital case litigation, training is essential to improve the quality of legal representation and to ensure reliable jury verdicts in state capital cases. Grant funds may only be used to provide training to improve legal representation in trial-level capital case litigation and may not be used for the purpose of providing training in appellate or collateral relief matters. Grant funds may not be used to fund, either directly or indirectly, representation in, or prosecution of, specific capital cases.

The goal of The National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law at Stetson University College of Law (NCSTL) is to ensure the fair administration of justice by prosecutors and defense attorneys who represent indigent defendants in State death penalty cases. This will be done by updating existing NCSTL curricular materials and by providing in-person and webinar training workshops on forensic science evidence and the use of expert testimony / witnesses. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 14, 2015