Louisiana Supreme Court - 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 | Tel: 504-310-2300 Hon. Bernette J. Johnson. Chief Justice.  John Tarlton Olivier., Clerk of Court.  Sandra A. Vujnovich. Judicial Administrator
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2009 Press Releases

CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
(504) 310-2590

 MARCH 24, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The 2009 Spring Judges Conference will feature an intensive, day-long agenda of training on capital litigation that is mandatory for all newly elected state court judges. The annual conference is held Wednesday March 25 - Friday, March 27 at the Lafayette Hilton and Towers in Lafayette, Louisiana. The first day is dedicated to the new judges training with the remainder of the conference being open to all state court judges.


According to Chief Justice Catherine D. “Kitty” Kimball, “States that impose the death penalty have an ever-increasing number of prisoners on death row. This training will explore the array of motions, hearings and appeals that are unique to death penalty cases. We have brought in experts in field of capital litigation from the National Judicial College (NJC) because it is critical that new judges be exposed to this area of law that they will face on the bench and in which they are likely to have had no prior experience.”


The NJC faculty consists of judges and industry professionals who offer a wealth of national and international experience. Outstanding judges, lawyers and law professors from across the nation serve without compensation. Each year, more than 250 faculty members lecture and lead workshops, panels and discussion groups. Faculty is chosen for their experience and expertise.


The NJC faculty for the capital litigation training include: Joseph Hoffman, Professor of Law, Indiana University -Bloomington where he has been teaching death penalty law, criminal law, and criminal procedure since 1986; Judge Michael J. Sage, Court of Common Pleas, Butler County, Ohio where he has served since 1991. He is also a member of the faculty of the Ohio Judicial College where he has taught evidence and death penalty litigation; and Judge O. H. Eaton, 18th Judicial Circuit of Florida since 1986 and is presently assigned as the criminal division administrative judge in Seminole County.


After attending the training, the state’s approximately 50 new judges will be able to summarize the trends in recent U.S. Supreme Court capital cases; ensure that the jury has been properly “death qualified” through voir dire; handle the penalty phase and sentencing efficiently after analyzing what constitutes aggravating and mitigating circumstances; and rule effectively on post-trial motions.


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Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130
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