Death Penalty Resources

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.


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.


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)

Great series by the Death Penalty Information Center, "50 Facts About the Death Penalty," is now finished, with all 50 Facts online. 

Each Death Penalty Fact has a great image with a bit of information about the death penalty in America, and there are links to additional information on that particular topic for those who want to know more.  Really good stuff.



The NAACP Legal Defense Fund released its Fall 2014 study of capital punishment in the United States recently.  

Entitled "Death Row USA," it is available to read online here.

In the report, Florida continues to have the second largest Death Row population in the country (only California has more), followed by Texas, Alabama, and Pennsylvania.  

No surprise there, right? 


Now available on Netflix (streaming) is an amazing documentary on the death penalty that delves into capital punishment through the eyes of the "death house" chaplain — a man who witnessed nearly 100 executions in his role as chaplain.  

You can watch "At The Death House Door" 24/7 online or via your streaming TV device if you have a Netflix subscription.  

It also discusses the case of Carlos DeLuna (see our post last month on a new book, The Two Carlos, that deals with the travesty of an innocent man being executed in Texas).

Great documentary for anyone interested in death penalty issues:





Did you know that the Death Penalty Information Center has compiled curricula on the death penalty for both the high school and college level?  

From the DPIC website:

Our award-winning high school curriculum, Educational Curriculum on the Death Penalty, includes 10-day lesson plans, interactive maps and exercises, and a presentation of pros and cons on the death penalty for discussion and debate. It is also available as a free iBook for the Apple iPad. The iBook version incorporates the interactivity and user-friendly interface of a tablet, including touch-screen navigation, access to the full curriculum even when offline, and use of standard iBook features, such as definitions and note-taking. For instructions on downloading the iBook, click here.

Our college-level curriculum, Capital Punishment in Context, contains detailed case studies of individuals who were sentenced to death in the U.S. The curriculum provides a complete narrative of each case, along with original resources, such as homicide reports, affidavits, and transcripts of testimony from witnesses. The narratives are followed by a discussion of the issues raised by each case, enabling students to research further into a broad variety of topics. Both curricula have special materials for those who register. They are widely used by educators in the U.S. and around the world in the fields of civics, criminal justice, sociology, and many other areas.


Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed the death warrant for Florida Death Row inmate William Van Poyck and right now Mr. Van Poyck’s execution is scheduled for June 12, 2013.

However, whether or not that Execution will happen is an open question.  On May 24, 2013, a formal motion to stay the execution was filed before the Florida Supreme Court.

Read the Motion for the Execution of William Van Poyck to be stayed here.

Reason for all the hoopla over this request for stay?  It’s not for the usual reasons.  This argument is causing all sorts of controversy.  Here’s why.  

Capital lawyer Mark Olive and two other death penalty defense attorneys have been appointed to represent Mr. Van Poyck – but there wasn’t much time for these new lawyers to get up to speed, so they asked the court for more time to do their job.  

They were told no.  No more time.  

The Florida High Court also denied attorney (and former ABA president) Sandy D’Alemberte motion to intervene in the case on behalf of attorney Olive’s behalf.  To argue that as it stood, the appointment and the denial of more time to do the job worked together to force the appointed lawyers into a Catch 22 where they were in the role of lawyer but unable to do their job for their client.

Olive, D’Alemberte, and the other capital lawyers newly appointed to represent a man literally days away from the needle have been quick to act.  

Go here to read the Notice filed by Attorney Olive regarding his eleventh hour appointment to represent the convicted man: 

Notice Inability to Satisfy Schedule filed by Attorney Olive Appointed to Represent William Van Poyck

 The Death Penalty Information Center has compiled its annual report on capital punishment in the United States.

According to the DPIC, the four states of (Florida (21), California (14), Texas (9), and Pennsylvania (7)) accounted for 65% of the country’s death sentences.  Texas, however, led the nation once again in the number of executions, with fifteen people being executed this year in the Lone Star State.  

Click on the image to read the full report:


Every so often, Terry wants to share documents here on the blog that are long – too long in fact, for this platform to accommodate.  We’ve found a solution to that problem by creating a new place on the web for Terry’s documents over at

It’s a collection entitled the Terence Lenamon Online Library.  It’s on the website and the documents are available online for free, as a community service. 

It is a place where Terry can share things like the full text of his May 20, 2012 letter to the Executive Director of the Florida Innocence Commission in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Florida Capital Resource Center.

Right now, there are six documents available for review, and Terry will be adding more as time goes along.

We’re not adding cases here, since there are good places to find them already – like Google Scholar.

If you have any requests or suggestions, please let us know. 

The Florida Innocence Commission met this week at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando;  it was the last meeting for the Florida Innocence Commission since Governor Rick Scott vetoed the bill that would fund the FIC and allow it to continue.

Read the details on how and why Governor Rick Scott killed the Florida Innocence Commission here, in an article by Radley Balko in the Huffington Post. 

Or read the editorial written by Fred Grimm in the Miami Herald, where he points out that the 14 men facing the death penalty on Florida’s Death Row were cleared as being innocent after DNA testing was done. 

The real irony here?

In its last meeting, as part of its final warnings, the Florida Innocence Commission warns that the failure to adequately pay criminal defense fees in indigent defense cases, particularly those where the defendant is facing the death penalty, is one of the key factors in injustice resulting.

That’s right.  As Terry Lenamon has been proclaiming for years (and see our book on this subject), the indigent defense payment issue is a real crisis in the country and injustice after injustice is the result. 

On June 30, the Florida Innocence Commission shuts its doors. No more funding.

Next week, its final report – that will undoubtedly include proposals for funding reforms – will be released.  We’ll include a link once it’s available.