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Capital Case Litigation Training and Technical Assistance Initiative


The Capital Case Litigation Training and Technical Assistance Initiative (CCLI) provides support to prosecutors, defense counsel and the judiciary nationwide on implementing improvements throughout the field of capital case litigation, while supporting litigators with the tools and resources to mitigate risk for error. This includes support for prosecutors and defense counsel by ensuring they have the skills, training, and most up-to-date practices to litigate serious and violent crimes. This also includes providing effective training programs, resources, and tools for state and local prosecutors and defense attorneys to build their capacity as capital litigators and ensure effective representation in state capital cases.

Death as a punishment for a crime, or capital punishment, is currently authorized in 31 states. These cases are governed by unique evidentiary rules and processes and require a specific set of skills to both defend and prosecute. From pre-trial to execution, each stage of a capital case is unique and requires extensive knowledge and training in order to represent a client as well as represent the state.

A strong criminal justice system has a robust adversarial system and ensures that both prosecutors and defense attorneys have the training and technical assistance necessary to effectively carry out their legal obligations in the most important cases. To that end, CCLI focuses on training for prosecutors and defense counsel, standards of practice, qualifications and performance assessments for prosecutors, and potential justice system improvements to minimize the potential for error in the trial of capital cases.


CCLI is authorized pursuant to 34 U.S.C. §§ 60301-60306, which requires funding be allocated equally between defense and prosecution. Visit also 28 U.S.C. § 530C(a) for additional information.

Date Modified: March 10, 2023
Date Created: December 9, 2019