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Death Penalty Project

Alumni

Emily C. Paavola is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Death Penalty Resource & Defense Center. After graduating from Cornell Law School, she served as a Project Fellow for the Cornell Death Penalty Project, and later worked as an associate in the business litigation practice group at Baker & Daniels LLP in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Kathy LaMotte graduated from Cornell Law School in 2011, and presently works as a Fellow with the South Carolina Death Penalty Resource & Defense Center.

John Millsgraduated from Cornell Law School in 2008, and presently works as an attorney in Durham, North Carolina.

Kristen Stanley graduated from Cornell Law School in 2007, and presently works as an attorney with the Capital Habeas Unit of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Tim Kane graduated from Cornell Law School in 2005, and presently works as an attorney with the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Deborah Anne Czuba is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Arkansas Federal Public Defender's Office. Prior to this, Deborah worked with the New York Capital Defender Office, and later served as Deputy Director for Investigation and Mitigation and Senior Staff Attorney with the Georgia Capital Defender Office. Deborah graduated from Wellesley College in 1992 and from Cornell Law School in 1995. During law school, Deborah worked as an intern with the South Carolina Death Penalty Resource Center, and as a research and teaching assistant for death penalty courses at Cornell Law School. Deborah has spoken at numerous national conferences on the death penalty (including NLADA’s Life in the Balance and for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), specifically on the topics of mental retardation and the death penalty, and mitigation investigation.

Keisha Hudson worked as an Assistant Defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she represented indigent clients charged with crimes ranging from simple misdemeanors, to serious felonies. While at the Defender's, she also worked in the mental health unit to gain a better understanding of the myriad mental health concerns of clients. She was also a supervisor in the Municipal Court Unit, training new attorneys on trial strategy. In 2006, she moved to the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Community Defender Office. As an Assistant Federal Defender, she works with clients on death row, on their state and federal appeals, which includes litigating on their behalf in those courts. Much of her work involves research and writing. However, as a trial lawyer, she takes the opportunity to go into the field as much as possible, to interview family members, witnesses, and jurors. She also spends time consulting, and working with a variety of experts. Death row is in Pittsburgh, and with fourteen active cases, she tries to maintain communication with clients. This entails traveling quite often to see them on the row. She is currently on the training committee, in charge of constructing and conducting internal trainings in the office, and external trainings throughout Pennsylvania, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Naomi Terr received a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Cornell Law School in 2001. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Master of Social Work in 1993 She is currently in private practice. A major focus of her practice is developing mitigating evidence in capital cases. She has also worked extensively in cases with evidence of mental retardation. In addition, Ms. Terr is a program attorney with the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program, a program funded by the foreign ministry of Mexico to assist Mexican nationals facing the death penalty in the U.S. In 2001, Ms. Terr received a two-year fellowship from Equal Justice Works. Her host organization was Texas Defender Service. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, she developed and implemented a project to incorporate social work students into capital defense teams.

Athanasia Charmani received her LLM from Cornell Law School in 2012, and presently works as a Fellow with the Cornell Death Penalty Project.

Sonali Shahi graduated from Cornell Law School in 2011, and currently works as a staff attorney at the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jessica Felker is a 2008 graduate of Cornell Law School, and presently works as a Research and Writing Specialist in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender's Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

Sam Farina-Henry graduated from Cornell Law School in 2011, and now works as a Post-Conviction Attorney for the Office of Capital Writs in Austin, Texas.

Vivian Hernandez is a 2012 graduate of Cornell Law School, and is currently a Fellow at the Texas Defender Service.