15 Steps to Life
15 Steps to Life is our introduction to capital defense strategy and tactics. Originally written by VC3 founder Bill Geimer, 15 Steps has been recently updated, and the Clearinghouse is engaged in a continuous process of tailoring it to Virginia procedures and issues.
Ex Parte Hearings
Under Virginia 's "future dangerousness" aggravating factor, the life or death decision often turns on whether a jury believes that there is a probability that the defendant "would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing serious threat to society." Virginia law goes to great lengths to prevent juries from getting the facts they need to reach reliable judgments about the risk that capital defendants actually pose if sentenced to life without parole rather than death. This litigation guide provides practice pointers and materials on overcoming the obstacles to an accurate risk assessment in your client's case.
This Litigation Guide contains materials and links to assist in defending clients who are not United States citizens.
The Grand Jury Litigation Guide contains the information you'll need to investigate, uncover and challenge unconstitutional discrimination in the selection of the grand jury that indicted your client.
Methods of Execution
This 272-page manual, written by a team of experienced mental health and capital litigation experts including Dick Burr, David Freedman, Anne James, Russell Stetler and Dr. Kathy Wayland, is a comprehensive introduction to investigating and litigating evidence of mental impairments in capital clients.
A working group of attorneys and experts with long experience representing and evaluating capital defendants clients with mental retardation has just released an updated manual on this subject. It's on-line here, together with materials on defending clients with mental retardation under Virginia law.