CAPITAL DEFENSE HANDBOOK
Problems and Challenges
Death row prisoners need legal, financial, and community assistance to counter negative forces marshaled against them. Many need their family and friends to have a better understanding of their cases. This training will identify the problems and challenges families and loved ones of death row prisoners face and provide them with critical skills, knowledge, and information.
The Capital Defense Handbook for Defendants
The Capital Defense Handbook for Defendants and their Families is an easy to read, step-by-step resource guide that provides practical information to capital case defendants, prisoners, and family members who are navigating the criminal justice system from the point of arrest through the trial and appeals process. The Handbook presents both general and state specific information. The state information is separate and will be a handout included with the Handbook. The Handbook is an invaluable resource for defendants, prisoners, and family members who want to understand their legal rights, interact effectively with lawyers, and participate in defense of their own lives or in the defense of their loved ones.
Model Case Summary & Chart
An integral component of the Handbook is the section that demonstrates how to write a Model Case Summary and Chart. Few prisoners, or their families, know how to summarize a case so that potentially helpful lawyers or advocates reviewing the case can comprehend the main points without investing undue time and energy. Typically, prisoners send out volumes of information, with sections of transcripts and appeals, and no one ever looks at them because the information is unclear and overwhelming. The section on Case Summary will help prisoners and/or family members to advocate effectively, detail key issues, and summarize court decisions in a clear, concise manner that persuades a lawyer or advocate to get involved in the case.
The Training Program will be a series of one-day training sessions for family members and loved ones of defendants facing charges for capital murder, before or after conviction. It will identify the problems faced by families of prisoners and will provide information, resources, and skills training in areas critical to their effective functioning on behalf of their loved one.
Part of the training will include teaching family members to communicate what they have learned to their loved ones in prison. The purpose of the hands-on training sessions will be to reinforce and explain the information in the Handbook and to transform book knowledge into a working tool that an individual can apply to a specific case. It will also provide an opportunity for people to learn from questions and answers and from the experience of other people participating in the program.
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Goals of the Training
One state will be selected to test a rapid response approach that targets cases where the defendant is in the early stages of the process and has not yet gone to trial. The impact of early intervention will be assessed.
American Friends Service Committee
Equal Justice USA
National Death Row Assistance Network of CURE
Summer June -> Sept Winter Oct -> May
% Claudia Whitman
6 Tolman Rd
Peaks Island, ME 04108
Phone: (207) 766-2418
% Claudia Whitman
12200 Rd 41.9
Mancos, CO 81328
Phone (970) 533-7383
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