Capital Litigation

With the support of a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance beginning in 2005, NDAA worked on Capital Litigation Improvement Initiatives, which included a training pilot project to survey the major issues in the complete capital trial—from preparation to post-conviction work. From the results of that survey, NDAA produced three-day training courses focusing on the two aspects of capital litigation which make it different from all other criminal trials in the United States: death qualification of capital juries and penalty phase practice.

NDAA also compiled resources such as writings in the area of death penalty practice and trial transcripts of defense experts testifying in capital cases. NDAA then partnered with the New York Prosecutors Training Institute (NYPTI), which maintains a national death penalty brief bank and transcript collection, to significantly widen the audience of capital litigators who could take advantage of this information online. NYPTI has re-tooled the programming that makes this resource available to capital litigators and transported the information from the brief banks into a wiki, creating an online Website, the Prosecutors’ Encyclopedia. To access these NDAA materials from NYPTI, prosecutors should go to and click on “Request an Account.”

Resources and Assistance

While this project is no longer funded, NDAA retains many resources which are available to our members. Non-members are welcome to submit a request for materials, which NDAA will evaluate and determine if the item(s) can be released.

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