October 10, 2018

2003 Guideline 8.1


A. The Legal Representation Plan should provide funds for the effective training, professional development, and continuing education of all members of the defense team.

B. Attorneys seeking to qualify to receive appointments should be required to satisfactorily complete a comprehensive training program, approved by the Responsible Agency, in the defense of capital cases. Such a program should include, but not be limited to, presentations and training in the following areas:

1. relevant state, federal, and international law;

2. pleading and motion practice;

3. pretrial investigation, preparation, and theory development regarding guilt/innocence and penalty;

4. jury selection;

5. trial preparation and presentation, including the use of experts;

6. ethical considerations particular to capital defense representation;

7. preservation of the record and of issues for post-conviction review;

8. counsel’s relationship with the client and his family;

9. post-conviction litigation in state and federal courts;

10. the presentation and rebuttal of scientific evidence, and developments in mental health fields and other relevant areas of forensic and biological science;

11. the unique issues relating to the defense of those charged with committing capital offenses when under the age of 18.

C. Attorneys seeking to remain on the roster or appointment roster should be required to attend and successfully complete, at least once every two years, a specialized training program approved by the Responsible Agency that focuses on the defense of death penalty cases.

D. The Legal Representation Plan should insure that all non-attorneys wishing to be eligible to participate on defense teams receive continuing professional education appropriate to their areas of expertise.