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FACULTY (subject to change)
Marc Bookman, Philadelphia, PA
Marc Bookman is the Director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, a non-profit project whose mission is training and consulting with capital defense teams in Pennsylvania and Delaware. He was in the Defender Association of Philadelphia’s Homicide Unit from its inception in 1993 to 2010.
Dana Cook, Philadelphia, PA
Dana Cook is the Deputy Director for the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation (ACCR), a death penalty resource center that provides trial level consultation and training in capital cases in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Prior to that, she worked at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, both as a social worker and a mitigation specialist. She began in the Juvenile Special Defense Unit representing Direct File Juveniles. After working in this unit for two years, she worked in the Homicide/Special Defense Unit as a mitigation specialist. There she represented capital and non-capital clients charged with homicide. Over the past several years, Dana has become a trainer and presenter at death penalty conferences. She has presented on various topics including client relationships/team building; storytelling/presenting mitigation; age as a mitigator and poverty as a mitigator. Prior to working at the Defender, she was an investigator in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Defender Office in Philadelphia. She began her career as an investigator at the Post-Conviction Defender Office in Nashville, TN. She received her B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration in 1996 from Middle Tennessee State University and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003.
Elaine Gordon, Chapel Hill, NC
Elaine is Trial Resource Counsel for the Office of Indigent Services (IDS). Prior to joining IDS, she worked in the Center for Death Penalty Litigation’s Trial Assistance Unit. Since 2002, she has consulted with attorneys throughout the state to help them brainstorm their capital cases and devise strategies for resolving their cases without going to trial. She has also monitored capital cases scheduled for trial to ensure that the attorneys have the resources they need to represent their clients effectively and that they have a coherent theory of defense for the guilt/innocence and penalty phases of trial. She plans and presents twice-yearly “bring-your-own-case” capital training programs and has represented clients in capital cases at trial and on post-conviction in both counsel and mitigation investigator capacity. Elaine was a Stuart Stiller Fellow in the Prettyman Program Georgetown University Law Center where she received her L.L.M. in Trial Advocacy and supervised third-year law students in the Georgetown Criminal Justice Clinic. She received her J.D. from Antioch School of Law and was a staff attorney at the D.D. Public Defender Service and at the Durham County Public Defender office in Durham, N.C. In 2010, Elaine was the recipient of the first Mary Ann Tally Award from the Fair Trial initiative in recognition of dedication and leadership that elevates the practice of capital defense and, in 2012, she was awarded the Charles L. Becton Teaching Award from the N.C. Advocates for Justice.
Henderson Hill, Charlotte, NC
Henderson Hill is executive director of the 8th AMENDMENT PROJECT. Previously Henderson served as executive director of the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina. He spent 15 years as a partner with Ferguson, Stein, Chambers, Gresham & Sumter, P.A. in Charlotte, NC. where his practice included criminal defense, medical negligence, civil rights, death penalty defense, and general civil trials. Henderson received his B.A. degree from Lehman College at the City University of New York and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. He is admitted to the bar in North Carolina and the District of Columbia. In 2007 Henderson was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Henderson began practice in 1981 with the Public Defender Service, in Washington D.C.; he held the positions of special litigation counsel, deputy chief of the appellate division and training director before relocating to North Carolina. In 1991 he became the director of the North Carolina Death Penalty Resource Center, in Raleigh. In 1995 he founded and served as director of the non-profit organization, the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Durham, North Carolina. Hill received the Paul Green Award from the North Carolina Civil Liberties Union for his work to abolish the death penalty. In 1999, Mr. Hill was a founding member of the Charlotte Coalition for Moratorium Now, a grass- roots organization that led the successful drive for a resolution supporting a Moratorium on executions by the Charlotte City Council and an active member of the statewide effort to enact a Moratorium in North Carolina.
Tammy Krause, Harrisonburg, VA
Tammy Krause has worked on federal capital cases throughout the United States for the past seventeen years. Krause pioneered the legal profession, Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach, creating professional relationships between the defense attorneys and the victim's family in an effort to bridge the historical gap between the two sides. Krause's work awarded her two fellowships, a Soros Justice Fellowship (1998-2000) and an Askoka: Innovators for the Public Fellowship (2001-2004). She worked for the Federal Public Defender 2003-2007 as the National Coordinator for Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach. Krause completed her PhD at the University of Manchester School of Law in England in 2014. Her thesis is titled, "Playing the Victim: The Discretionary and Discriminatory Application of Victim Impact Statements by Federal Prosecutors in the USA." She holds a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Mark Olive, Tallahassee, FL
Mark E. Olive’s national practice of law focuses on death penalty defense litigation, educating lawyers, judges, and law students about capital punishment and habeas corpus practice, and consulting with and helping capital defense teams provide quality representation for the neediest of clients. Some of Mark’s cases include: Hall v. Florida, __ U.S. ___ (2014), where the United States Supreme Court found that Florida’s “bright line” rule on IQ scores violated Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)(also one of Mark’s cases), where the United States Supreme Court found the execution of persons with intellectual disabilities violated the Eighth Amendment; Fleming v. Zant, 386 S.E.2d 339 (Ga. 1989), where the Georgia Supreme Court found the execution of persons with intellectual disabilities violated the Geogia Constitution, pre-Atkins; Herrera v. Collins, 506 U.S. 390 (1993), a Texas case where a majority of the Supreme Court agreed the execution of an innocent person would violate the Eighth Amendment; Williams v. Dixon, 961 F.2d 448 (4th Cir 1992), where the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held North Carolina’s capital jury instruction violated the Eighth Amendment; and Maas v. Olive, 992 So.3d 196 (Fla. 2008), and Olive v. Maas, 811 So.2d 644 (Fla 2002), where the Florida Supreme Court invalidated fee caps in capital cases. Mark was the Director of the first Capital Resource Center in the country, opened in Tallahassee, Florida in 1985, which provided assistance to pro bono attorneys (and provided direct representation) in capital cases. He was later the Director of both the Georgia and Virginia Resource Centers. He regularly teaches a Death Penalty and the Supreme Court seminar at the University of North Carolina College of Law in Chapel Hill. Mark was awarded the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Life in the Balance Achievement Award in 2003.
Dr. Katherine Porterfield, New York, NY
Kate Porterfield received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan, where she specialized in child and family treatment. She received the Power Fellowship at the University of Michigan to focus her clinical and research training on the needs of children who have suffered loss, either through death, divorce, or other trauma. Dr. Porterfield was a postdoctoral fellow at the NYU Child Study Center. In her work at Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture since 1999, Dr. Porterfield provides individual and family therapy to children, adolescents and adults and supervises trainees working with survivors of torture. Dr. Porterfield has worked as a clinical evaluator on several cases of young people held in detention at Guantanamo Bay and frequently consults with attorneys handling cases involving torture and maltreatment. She has also presented extensively in the New York area and nationally on topics such as the effects of war and refugee trauma on children, clinical work with traumatized refugee families, and the psychological effects of torture. Dr. Porterfield is the Chair of the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children Residing in the United States.
Danalynn Recer, Houston, TX
Danalynn Recer began fighting the death penalty in Texas two decades ago, working initially as an investigator and later as an attorney with the Texas Resource Center. In 1995, she moved to New Orleans to work with Clive Stafford Smith at the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center, nationally known for its aggressive and creative capital trial representation. While there, she participated in a dozen capital trials, secured life pleas for another 8 clients, and directed the Jefferson Parish Project, a consulting team that worked with the highest volume indigent defenders in Louisiana to reduce the number of death sentences there. In 2002, when Calvin Burdine was returned to Harris County (Houston, Texas) for retrial, Danalynn stepped in on a pro bono basis and founded the Gulf Region Advocacy, or “GRACE” in the process. Today, GRACE provides direct representation, consulting services and mitigation services to indigent capital defendants, as well as training and education to capital defenders around the country. Over the past twenty years, Danalynn has participated in the defense of over one hundred capital clients in all stages of litigation in state and federal courts in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Tennessee, North Dakota, Florida, Kansas, California and Nevada. She holds a B.A., M.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas.
Cassie Stubbs, Chapel Hill, NC
Cassy Stubbs is the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, which works towards the end of the death penalty by supporting repeal and reform through advocacy and targeted litigation. Cassy joined the project in 2006 and since then has served as lead and associate counsel on behalf of death row inmates and defendants in trials and appeals throughout the South, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Her clients have included Levon “Bo” Jones, a North Carolina death row inmate who was exonerated in 2008 when the state dismissed all charges against him, and Richard C. Taylor, a severely mentally ill man who was sentenced to death after a sham trial in Tennessee, but who won a new trial on appeal and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. Cassy has also worked with numerous organizations and ACLU affiliates to file amicus briefs in capital cases in state and federal courts around the country. She has written policy papers, editorials and blog posts on a wide range of capital issues, such as the persistence of racial disparities in capital punishment and the fundamental flaws of purported claims that the death penalty deters future murders. Before joining the ACLU, Cassy worked as a New Mexico State public defender in Aztec, N.M. Previously, she litigated employment discrimination and wage and hour cases in state and federal court with Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles, and with the New York Civil Liberties Union in New York City. Cassy is admitted to the bars of North Carolina, New York, and California. She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a ScB from Brown University. She served as a judicial clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Brian Stull, Chapel Hill, NC
Brian Stull is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, having joined the project in 2006. Brian has served as trial and appellate counsel in capital cases in North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. Brian represented Levon “Bo” Jones an innocent man exonerated from North Carolina’s death row in 2008, and Adrian Estrada and Manuel Velez, two Texas men whose death sentences in separate cases were reversed when the ACLU discovered each had been sentenced to death based on the false testimony of a Texas prison investigator. Estrada v. State, 313 S.W.3D 274 (Tex. Crim. App. 2010); Velez v. State, 2012 WL 2130890 (Tex. Crim. App. 2012). Brian has regularly contributed to ACLU amicus briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court and written numerous posts concerning capital punishment for the ACLU Blog of Rights, as well as other outlets. Brian has investigated conditions of confinement on Texas’s death row and advocated for needed improvements. Before joining the ACLU, Brian worked for five years at the Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) in New York City, where he represented indigent criminal defendants convicted of serious felonies on direct appeal and in post-conviction and federal habeas corpus proceedings. During his time at OAD, Brian argued over 35 appeals. Brian received a B.A., with high distinction, in 1993, and an M.S.W. in 1995, both from the University of Michigan. As a social worker, Brian worked with chronically mentally ill adults. Brian graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2000, where he was awarded the Ann Petluck Poses Memorial Prize for outstanding work as a clinical student in the Capital Defender Clinic. He then served as a judicial clerk for federal magistrate judge Steven Pepe in the Eastern District of Michigan Federal District Court.
Jacob H. Sussman, Charlotte, NC
Jake’s practice primarily focuses on criminal defense in federal and state courts. He handles all manner of cases, from “white collar” crimes to drug conspiracies to violent felonies, and at all stages of litigation, including pre-indictment, trial, or appeal. Jake represents clients throughout the State of North Carolina and its three federal district courts. He also represents licensed professionals, including other lawyers, on ethics and disciplinary matters before the State Bar, and has represented clients in regulatory proceedings involving the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Jake has also represented clients in other states, including a defendant in a high-profile capital murder trial in Fulton County, Georgia, and multiple plaintiffs in a federal race discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the district of South Carolina. In addition to his criminal practice, Jake handles civil rights and law enforcement misconduct cases. In this area, Jake has represented individuals in claims against federal, state, and local governments, and has litigated federal and state constitutional actions, as well as state tort actions for intentional or negligent conduct. Jake has been selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and the “Legal Elite” by Business North Carolina. Before entering law school, Jake worked as an investigator on death penalty cases in Alabama, Georgia and California. During law school, he clerked with the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., the Bronx Defenders, and the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society, where he represented youth in juvenile delinquency proceedings.
Christina Swarns, New York, NY
As the Litigation Director of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., Christina Swarns oversees all aspects of LDF’s litigation in its four key practice areas: economic justice, education, political participation and criminal justice. In that capacity, Christina conceptualizes and evaluates new cases and campaigns, reviews and edits all substantive briefs, assists with preparation for oral arguments, and provides overall supervision for the legal staff. Christina serves as Lead Counsel in the litigation of significant impact cases, including Texas v. Duane Buck (challenging a Texas death-sentence that was the product of explicit racial bias), Mumia Abu-Jamal v. Secretary (Pennsylvania death sentence for “world’s most famous death row prisoner” vacated based on improper instruction to sentencing jury), Rosales v. Quarterman (Texas capital murder conviction and death sentence vacated based on intentional discrimination in jury selection by Harris County District Attorney’s Office). Christina previously served as the Director of LDF’s Criminal Justice Project, where she analyzed, developed and implemented litigation, organizing, public education, communications and other advocacy strategies to ensure that the American criminal justice system is administered fairly and without regard to race such that all communities receive fair and appropriate police protection and that all individuals charged with or convicted of crimes are afforded the safeguards guaranteed by the constitution. As a nationally recognized expert on issues of race and criminal justice, Christina participates in committees, advisory panels, conferences and national media interviews (including MSNBC, PBS News Hour, and Democracy Now). In 2014, Christina was selected by the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School to be an Honorary Fellow in Residence, an honor given to an attorney who makes “significant contributions to the ends of justice at the cost of great personal risk and sacrifice.” Prior to joining LDF, Christina served as a Supervising Assistant Federal Defender and Assistant Federal Defender at the Capital Habeas Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia’s Federal Court Division. While there, Christina represented numerous death-sentenced prisoners whose convictions and/or death-sentences were reversed, including Nicholas Yarris, the first death row prisoner in Pennsylvania to be exonerated by DNA evidence. Christina earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Howard University.
Edward J. Ungvarsky, Arlington, VA
Edward J. Ungvarsky is a career public defender who heads the Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office and is co-Chair of the NACDL Death Penalty Committee. Ed frequently lectures on issues related to the death penalty, trial advocacy, and forensic science evidence. Ed has served on the faculty of Gideon's Promise, Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop, and Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy's Death Penalty Institute. Immediately after law school. Ed created and teaches a graduate-level seminar on the Death Penalty and Mitigation at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. After graduating from law school, Ed clerked in Montgomery, Alabama for the Honorable Frank M. Johnson, Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Ed received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.
Dr. Dale Watson, Oakland, CA
Dale G. Watson, Ph.D. is a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist. He is currently in private practice in the Bay Area of California and a consultant to Neurobehavioral Cognitive Services (NCS) – a transitional living and brain-injury recovery program in Dixon, California. He has extensive experience in the evaluation of traumatic brain injuries and intellectual disabilities. He is also an adjunct Faculty member at the Wright Institute, an American Psychological Association accredited graduate psychology program, where he teaches cognitive and psychological assessment. Additionally, he is a frequent consultant to attorneys regarding the interface between neurocognitive dysfunction and criminal law, particularly in capital murder cases. He has made numerous national presentations on neuropsychology and the evaluation of intellectual disabilities in capital litigation. He has testified in Superior and Federal District Courts. He has served as both a testifying and non-testifying expert.