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Profile: kristen.nelson

Kristen Nelson is a Deputy State Public Defender on the Complex Litigation Team for the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender in Denver, which represents indigent clients at the trial level in complex felony cases, including those in which the State is considering or has declared it is seeking the death penalty. As the designated appellate-minded lawyer on the trial team, Kristen is responsible for developing the legal issues in the case, drafting and arguing the motions, interlocutory appeals, and jury instructions, and providing legal analysis and input on other strategic decisions in the case. Prior to moving to Colorado in 2011, Kristen spent four years as a staff attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, where she spent the majority of her time representing indigent clients in various stages of appeal on Alabama’s death row, as well as other criminal defendants and prisoners denied fair treatment under the law. Kristen began her indigent defense career as a trial attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia from 2005-2007 following a clerkship with U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. She is a 2004 graduate of Harvard Law School.

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  • Location: Colorado State Public Defender (Denver, CO)
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    NAPD News

    On December 28, 2016, NAPD published its Open Letter to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro for his prosecution of Orleans Public Defender investigator Taryn Blume. A bedrock principle of our criminal justice system is that every citizen accused by the government of a crime starts with the benefit of the doubt – with a presumption that they are in fact innocent.  That right becomes meaningless if we do not uphold the equally important right of every citizen-accused defense team who fights for her cause; who digs for evidence of her innocence; who exposes the government when it hides that evidence.  The legitimacy of our criminal justice system depends upon defense lawyers and defense investigators doing their jobs, and doing them well, without fear of reprisal from a prosecutor acting more like a bully than the champion of truth and justice he is supposed to be.

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    Last Chance to Register! The NAPD Executive Leadership Institute (ELI-2017) is almost full will will be held from 3:00 pm on April 2 through 11:45 am on April 5, 2017 at the Department of Public Advocacy training facility in Frankfort, KY. You can see more information and registration details HERE