Death Penalty Cases

The California Supreme Court is seeking qualified lawyers to represent indigent defendants sentenced to death. Qualified counsel may be appointed for the direct appeal, the related state habeas corpus/executive clemency proceedings, or both.

Supreme Court Policies in Cases Arising from Judgments of Death; Payment Guidelines for Appointed Counsel; and, Guidelines for Fixed Fee Appointments to Automatic Appeals and Related Habeas Corpus Proceedings.

As amended effective March 5, 2012, to modify the hourly “benchmarks” set out in the time-and-costs “Payment Guidelines” governing evidentiary hearings in habeas corpus matters. The Payment Guidelines were further revised to clarify that the capital habeas corpus hourly benchmarks apply to all types of evidentiary hearing matters, including so-called “Atkins hearings.” Also amended were procedures for approval of requests for fee compensation, and to incur investigative expenses, related to Atkins hearings. The changes for March 5, 2012, are shown with strikethrough for deletions and underscoring for additions (see pp. 17-18, 26, and 45-46).

Memorandum on avoiding unnecessary delay in processing fee and expense applications and applications for reimbursement of habeas corpus investigation services and expenses. (As amended January 2008 to reflect increases in habeas corpus funding.)

Description of categories on the cumulative hours/services and expenses compensation form for automatic appeals and/or related state habeas corpus/executive clemency proceedings

An Addendum of Procedures and Policies Adopted by the California Supreme Court  explains the required contents of and procedures for the submission in capital cases of (i) extension of time requests for filing briefs or other documents and (ii) confidential status reports of counsel.

Caution: The version of Policy 4 of the Supreme Court Policies Regarding Cases Arising From Judgments of Death, previously set forth in a related news release issued by the Supreme Court on August 22, 2001, has been amended effective December 19, 2001. Click here for current version of Policy 4