Attorneys in the Capital Habeas Unit represent persons who have been sentenced to death.

The attorneys in our Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) represent persons who have been sentenced to death by state court juries from within this District, and whose convictions have proceeded through the state court appellate process and are now before the federal court on claims involving federal constitutional violations. We represent these clients in habeas corpus proceedings in the District Court, and later in the United States Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. The CHU also handles capital cases arising from federal death-penalty crimes.

Current Death Penalty Cases
For information regarding the Death Penalty in the State of Arizona click HERE.

The CHU was established in 1996 in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona.  When formed, the CHU was staffed by two attorneys and three support positions, and it represented twelve clients. 

History of the Death Penalty

Capital punishment has been a feature of the Arizona criminal justice system since 1865 when Dolores Moore became the first individual on record to be executed  in the federal territory that is now the state of Arizona. 108 executions were carried out in Arizona before the national moratorium on executions was imposed by the US  Supreme Court in 1972. Executions were generally carried out by the method of hanging until 1934 when the first execution by gas chamber was carried out in Arizona. Lethal injection became Arizona's primary method of execution on November 15,1992  however, those sentenced to death before that date may still elect lethal gas as their method of execution.

What We Do

The CHU is appointed to state death penalty cases after state direct appeal and post-conviction review is completed.  The CHU represents the prisoners in habeas corpus proceedings in the federal courts in federal constitutional challenges to the convictions and sentences.  The CHU also represents federal prisoners sentenced to death under federal law.

Lawyers in the CHU have a national practice and represent death row prisoners in Arizona, as well as California, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and prisoners on federal death row in Terra Haute.  The CHU has represented five clients in cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.  Lawyers have presented arguments in the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits, as well as numerous district courts.   A team from the CHU has litigated challenges to execution protocols in Arizona and Oklahoma. 


Attorney Name Office Location
Alison Rose Phoenix
Eric Zuckerman Salt Lake City
Charlotte Merrill Phoenix
Lindsey Layer Salt Lake City
Letty Marquez Tucson
Therese Day Phoenix
Jennifer Garcia Phoenix
Dale Baich Phoenix
Amanda Bass Phoenix
Tim Gabrielsen Tucson
Cary Sandman Tucson
Stan Molever Phoenix
Edward Flores Phoenix
Kim Stout Phoenix
Estela Dimas Phoenix
Kelle Andrews Phoenix
Kush Govani Phoenix
Scott Wisniewski Phoenix
Jessica Hall Phoenix
Joshua Spears Phoenix
Lisa Gray Phoenix
Martin Lieberman Phoenix
Kendra Livingston Phoenix
Nicole List Phoenix
Cory Gordon Phoenix
Jacob Goldenberg Phoenix
Jamie Moore Phoenix
Maren Dale Phoenix
Nickolas Smith Phoenix