Capital Defenders

A Resource for Death Penalty Work

The OCDLA Capital Defenders is a resource for investigators, mitigation specialists, attorneys, and support staff who represent capital defendants in pre-trial, trial, appellate, and post-conviction litigation. The Capital Defenders work to facilitate the exchange of information among death penalty practitioners and, through their own legislative committee, assist the OCDLA legislative committee and lobbyists in addressing public policy and legislative matters addressing capital defense. The Capital Defenders maintain a listserve, and assist in planning the program for the annual OCDLA death penalty seminar.

Become a Capital Defender Member

You must be an OCDLA member to join the Capital Defenders.

Our membership year follows a fiscal calendar, July through June. Dues are through June 2020 for the 2019–2020 year. Dues are prorated for new memberships on a quarterly basis. Allow 24-72 hours for new and renewing memberships to be processed. Membership orders placed on a weekend will be processed the following Monday.

Membership TypeDues 
Lawyers$40 annualJoin | Renew
Non-Lawyers$15 annualJoin | Renew

Death Penalty Seminars

OCDLA death penalty seminars feature high quality death penalty litigators and related professionals from around the country. Death penalty lawyers come together to enhance their skills, share tips of the trade and network. Oregon attorneys who want to do indigent death penalty work are required by the Office of Public Defense Services to attend at least one death penalty seminar per year. 
Check our Upcoming Events to see what is available.

Capital Defenders Listserve

A forum for discussion between lawyers, mitigators, and investigators involved in capital cases, as well as advance notice of death penalty seminars. To subscribe or unsubscribe from the listserve, send an email to with “Subscribe Capital Defender List” or “Unsubscribe Capital Defender List” in the subject line.

Capital Defenders Executive Committee

Dennis Balske | Portland
Jeff Ellis | Portland
Richard Wolf | Portland

The Marshall Project

The Next to Die
For hundreds of years, Americans have done a superb job of chronicling the death penalty in action. What we haven’t done so well is closely watch death rows to track upcoming executions. In conjunction with several media outlets across the country, The Marshall Project has created a permanent running national record of scheduled deaths by lethal injection, firing squad, or otherwise.