Webinar: Addressing the Needs of Victims in Death Penalty Cases
The Role and Responsibility of the Defense

What application does restorative justice have in the highly-charged, adversarial context of death penalty cases? Is it possible to do more to engage the families of homicide victims in these cases and in doing so, to help address their needs? What can and should the defense team do in these situations?

In a capital case, victims may receive assistance from victim assistance programs, often associated with the prosecution. However, what they frequently also need is information from the defense as well. In the past two decades a field has emerged that is sometimes called Defense Initiated Victim Outreach (DVO) or Defense Victim Outreach (DVO). DIVO/DVO provides trained victim liaisons to serve as a bridge between victims and the defense team to answer questions, provide information, and generally assist victims to address their needs as they define them.

DIVO/DVO is not usually full restorative justice, but it is informed by restorative justice principles. Although it has been very helpful to many victims, it is challenging, risky and controversial work. In this webinar, three pioneers and leaders in the field will describe the work and some of the possibilities and challenges.

This webinar will be of interest to lawyers, to those involved with victim issues, and to anyone interested in restorative justice practices in general.

Guests: Tammy Krause, Kelly Branham and Dick Burr.

Howard Zehr will facilitate the webinar.

When: May 1, 2013, 4:30-6:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (United States)

View the webinar recording:

Kelly Branham coordinates victim outreach in federal cases nationwide through the Capital Resource Counsel Project and is based in the Federal Defender Office in Nashville, TN. Ms. Branham, an attorney for 25 years, speaks nationally and internationally to promote attorney awareness of the principles and importance of victim outreach. She also conducts annual intensive trainings for practitioners of victim outreach. Ms. Branham has worked in capital cases throughout the country in both state and federal proceedings, at all levels of the judicial process.

Richard Burr is in private practice in east Texas with the firm of Burr & Welch. He has devoted his practice entirely to death penalty defense work since 1979, in national and regional non-profit law offices, in public defender offices, and in private practice. He has represented clients at trial, on direct appeal, and in state and federal habeas proceedings, and has argued two capital cases before the Supreme Court. He has frequently served as faculty in death-penalty related seminars since 1981. Since October, 1997, his private practice has included serving as a member of the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel project, and since 2010, as a member of the Texas Regional Habeas Assistance and Training project.

Working with his law partner and spouse, Mandy Welch, as members of Tim McVeigh’s defense team in the Oklahoma City bombing case, he and Mandy teamed with Howard Zehr and Tammy Krause to reach out to survivors of the bombing on behalf of the defense team. Incorporating principles of restorative justice, these efforts evolved into the practice of Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach (DIVO), which is now incorporated into standard defense practice in capital cases nationwide.

Tammy Krause has worked on federal capital cases throughout the United States for the past fourteen years. Krause pioneered the legal profession Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach, creating professional relationships between the defense attorneys and the victim’s family in an effort to bridge the historical gap between the two sides. Krause’s work awarded her two fellowships, a Soros Justice Fellowship (1998-2000) and an Askoka: Innovators for the Public Fellowship (2001-2004). She worked for the Federal Public Defender 2003-2007 as the National Coordinator for Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach. Krause is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manchester School of Law in England. Her thesis is titled, “Playing the Victim: The Discretionary and Discriminatory Application of Victim Impact Statements by Federal Prosecutors in the USA.” She holds a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

This webinar is an initiative of the Zehr Institute at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding.