Stephen Harper, director of the Florida Center for Capital Representation (FCCR), is quoted in Jacksonville, Florida’s Folio Weekly on the necessity of effective assistance of counsel in a death penalty case. Refik Eler, the Chief Assistant Public Defender in Jacksonville, has been found to be ineffective in three separate death penalty cases. With a very aggressive prosecutor and a poor defense lawyer, “It’s a deadly combination,” said Harper.
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The FCCR was created to support defense attorneys representing defendants facing the death penalty in Florida. FCCR provides free case-consultation and litigation-support services, as well as capital-litigation training programs, to defense attorneys and mitigation specialists across the State. With a strong emphasis on developing mitigation to obtain death-penalty waivers and pleas, FCCR seeks to train and assist capital defense teams in resolving cases short of a death sentence.
With decades of combined experience representing Florida’s capital defendants at all levels, FCCR staff understand the unique characteristics and challenges associated with capital representation in Florida, offering defense teams consultation services and direct assistance in the following areas:
- Mitigation & Litigation Strategy
- Mitigation/Waiver Letters & Packages
- Plea Negotiations
- Voir Dire Techniques
- Motion Practice
- Jury Instructions
- Mental Health and Other Clinical Issues
- Referrals to Appropriate Experts
- Capital Litigation Training