Lenamon's Nov - Dec 2015 Florida Death Penalty Lawyers Seminar Schedule

As discussed in our prior post, Terry Lenamon and the Florida Capital Resource Center he co-founded years ago work hard to help not only those facing the death penalty, but the lawyers out there who undertake the job of defending a capital case.

This means that the FCRC will provide seminars and training to Death Penalty lawyers at no charge to them. For instance, this past summer the Center offered a two-day training seminar in jury selection by the Honorable Carey Haughwout, Public Defendner for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.

Now, Terence Lenamon is announcing another seminar in this ongoing effort to help capital lawyers.

FLORIDA DEATH PENALTY LAWYERS SEMINAR

Terence Lenamon is offering a single day training course around Florida to attorneys in the Sunshine State who represent defendants in capital cases. 

Death Penalty Lawyers please note that these are free seminars in defending capital cases offered by Board Certified death penalty defense attorney Terry Lenamon for which you can receive Continuing Legal Education credit. 

Hours are 10 am to 4 pm for each seminar.

6 HOURS FREE CLE

Locations and dates:

Miami - 11/18

Public Defender Office

Bushnell 12/01

Public Defender Office

Tampa 12/4

Public Defender Office

Fort Lauderdale 12/7

Public Defender Office

Ocala 12/8

Public Defender Office

Jacksonville 12/9

Florida Coastal School of Law

Pensacola  January 2016 (To Be Announced)

Death Penalty Defense Lawyers: There's a Continuum

When I asked Terry what he thought about the recent Slate article, “ The Worst Lawyers: Death sentences are down across the country—except for where one of these guys is the defense attorney,” he said that what law professor Stephen Bright wrote twenty years ago is still true today: all too often, the death penalty is handed down not “for the worst crime, but for the worst lawyer.” (Bright is quoted in the Slate article).

It goes without saying that capital punishment is sought in cases where all too often, the defendant is indigent. That means that they are appointed counsel as their constitutional right.

In what situation can you imagine where it’s more important to have a dedicated, compassionate, experienced, and smart lawyer than in a case where the prosecution is seeking the death penalty?

Yet all too often, as Terry pointed out, there are some very bad (I won’t use his exact adjectives; explicatives deleted) lawyers out there who are all too happy to take on capital punishment representations.

That’s one end of the continuum. But there IS a continuum.

Some of the Best and the Brightest Defend Capital Cases

There are lawyers in this country who are dedicated to representing people who are facing death penalty convictions (or are trying to have death penalty sentences reversed on appeal). They are not choosing this practice area because they want money or glory — if they were, there are plenty of other areas of the law that are better suited to those goals.  

They made a choice.  Or maybe their hearts made the decision for them.  

These are top-notch lawyers who enter a courtroom where the battle isn’t for money or years behind bars: it’s life versus death. They are passionate — and very good at what they do.

Yes, the Slate article is right. But it’s not the whole story.

Good lawyering is paramount in capital cases; and while there are bad lawyers representing defendants in capital cases, you will find some of the most honorable and (yes) noble of our profession are doing the same thing.

Do You Know About the Florida Capital Resource Center?

Like Terence Lenamon.  Like those that work for and/or support the non-profit organization Terry co-founded, the Florida Capital Resource Center.

Maybe you know a few names to add to that list; feel free to share them in the comments. 

From the Florida Capital Resource Center website:

History & Overview | Where we began & where we are going...

Florida Capital Resource Center was founded in 2009 by Terence "Terry" Lenamon, a renowned capital defense attorney in Miami, Florida, and Cynthia "Cindy" O'Shea, a talented defense attorney-turned-mitigation specialist who works with Terry on many of his capital cases.

Terry and Cindy believed that Florida's capital justice system was (and still is) in a state of emergency because capital defense attorneys are often underfunded, under-qualified, or simply unmotivated to provide effective representation, particularly in cases involving indigent defendants.

Though vast amounts of taxpayer dollars are spent on the administration of Florida's death penalty, budget cuts and poor legislation have reduced critical public defender resources and act to discourage talented private attorneys from registering for court-appointment.

To help counter that growing and alarming problem, Terry and Cindy decided to create a nonprofit organization that would provide a place where capital defense attorneys could find death penalty-related information and trial materials. They commissioned a website designed to house a clearinghouse of materials, and those materials are constantly expanding.

Since its inception in 2009, FCRC's mission has expanded and its goals have broadened. Today, the mission of Florida Capital Resource Center is to assist indigent defendants facing the death penalty by providing consultation, research, training, advocacy, and other necessary resources to capital defenders state-wide.

Recognizing the "uneven playing field" inherent in the defense of impoverished individuals on trial for their lives (and the gross limitations of post-conviction remedies, even in the most constitutionally-violative cases), FCRC attempts to ensure that long-standing inequities are mitigated or abolished.

FCRC operates in multiple venues, including standing with those seeking statutory and rule changes intended to remove injustice from all relevant aspects of death penalty law and practice.

Working with other organizations (both local and national), FCRC seeks to protect the constitutional rights of Florida's capital defendants by increasing access to critical resources, thereby improving the level of representation provided by Florida's capital defense bar.

Lethal Injection Drug Controversies Stop Executions in Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma

Here’s the question:  are controversies surrounding the drug or drugs used in lethal injection executions enough to halt capital punishment altogether?  Even though there are other, legal methods of execution on the books? 



Consider the following three examples of executions not going forward because of drug issues:

1.  Missouri Execution Halted Over Pentobarbital Issue In Man With Brain Tumor

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ordered the execution of Ernest Lee Johnson by the State of Missouri be stayed while legal issues are resolved in his case.  The stay was none too soon:  Johnson was scheduled to die yesterday. 

The first issue:  if the lethal injection method will be cruel and unusual in his case because of the pentobarbital used by Missouri (source unknown) might interact with his brain tumor and cause painful seizures.  The second issue:  whether or not this man should be executed because he suffers from mental disabilities.  (His IQ has been tested at 63.)


2.  Ohio Delays Executions Until 2017

Ohio can’t find drugs to use in its lethal injection executions.  So all the inmates on Ohio’s Death Row have received a stay of sorts:  now, Ohio’s execution schedule begins in January 2017 and continues through August 2019.  There are 25 executions scheduled during this time period.

From its Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (go here for full release including revised schedule with individual dates and names):

Today the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) announced revised execution dates for twelve inmates.    DRC continues to seek all legal means to obtain the drugs necessary to carry out court ordered executions, but over the past few years it has become exceedingly difficult to secure those drugs because of severe supply and distribution restrictions.  The new dates are designed to provide DRC additional time necessary to secure the required execution drugs.
 

3.  Oklahoma Delays Executions At Request of Attorney General

We all know that Oklahoma has had some serious problems with the lethal injection method of execution.  After all, Glossip v. Gross comes out of Oklahoma — where Richard Glossip, Benjamin Cole, and John Grant, challenged the use of midazolam in the three-drug lethal injection cocktail, arguing that three executions showed that the drug failed to stop pain.  SCOTUS ruled against them back in June.

It was also Oklahoma where Richard Glossip just had his execution stayed at the last minute by the Governor.

Why?  Apparently, they were about to use the wrong drug in the execution, potassium acetate.  The correct and approved drug for lethal injection in Oklahoma is potassium chloride, NOT potassium acetate.    

Even more disturbing:  Oklahoma officials are now acknowledging that the wrong drug, potassium acetate, was used in the January 2015 execution of Charles Warner.

This is the same state that botched the execution of Clayton Lockett, remember.

Now, Oklahoma executioners face a revised execution schedule that delays any executions.  The Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma has asked that all executions be stayed there until they can get this drug problem resolved.
 

 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...