Session 1 . Evidence and Expert Witnesses (Capital Case Track)
A one-hour refresher on evidence issues critical for capital case trials, with special emphasis on expert testimony.
Session 2 Pennsylvania’s Death Penalty-Systemic Constitutional Challenges (Capital Case Track)
The 2017 report on Pennsylvania's death penalty identified many systemic problems with its implementation, concerns that have also been raised in earlier reports and judicial opinions. This session will examine those concerns and their potential impact upon capital case litigation in Pennsylvania.
Session 3 Capital Case Update (Capital Case Track)
You won’t want to miss hearing about what the courts have been deciding in capital case litigation during the past year. Key state and federal case developments, legislative action and trends that are likely to affect the future litigation of capital cases in Pennsylvania will be highlighted.
Session 4 Implicit Racial Bias in Capital Cases (Capital Case Track) (ETHICS)
Can racial bias affect the outcome of our cases, even when decisionmakers are not consciously aware of it? A growing body of research shows that implicit bias is often an unacknowledged and powerful factor in the criminal justice system. In this session, participants will learn about the numerous ways in which implicit bias affects death-penalty cases, from the police investigation, through trial, sentencing, and appeal. Participants will also learn about their ethical duties to understand and address racial bias.
Session 5 Trauma: The Opportunity and Challenges of Personal Crisis in Case Planning (Capital Case Track)
This session will present an overview of the impact of childhood trauma on adult functioning as it pertains to criminality, witness preparation, and data collection. We will review the challenges it causes related to interviewing and discovery, as well as the research and caveats involved in including it in a defense strategy. Participants will be offered practical data and advice related to the most recent scientific data of neurobiological and social science as it relates to trauma as a factor in or mitigation of culpability and rehabilitation.
Session 6 Mitigation Strategies and How to Work Well with a Mitigator (Capital Case Track)
A mitigation specialist is an essential member of every capital defense team, offering specialized skills that can assist in all aspects of the case. In this session, we will review the constitutional requirements for an effective capital mitigation investigation, the evidence that must be gathered, and the most effective techniques for obtaining that information. We will discuss strategies for effectively integrating mitigation evidence into every stage of your case. Finally, we will provide you with tools to advocate for the resources necessary to support a comprehensive mitigation investigation.
Recorded during the 2019 Criminal Law Symposium in June 2019.
The credits offered by this course count toward the CLE requirement of Criminal Procedure Rule 801, for appointment as defense counsel in a capital case.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The CLE Board indicates that you can earn all 18 of your capital case credits by distance education. However, for the general Pennsylvania CLE requirement of 12 credits per compliance year, only 6 can be earned by distance education per compliance year.