Event Calendar

Friday, May 26, 2023

Clarence Darrow/ David Baldus Death Penalty College

Start Date: 5/16/2023 8:30 AM EDT
End Date: 5/20/2023 1:00 PM EDT

Venue Name: The University of Iowa College of Law

130 Byington Rd
Iowa City, IA  United States  52242

Organization Name: National Association for Public Defense

Jeni Benavides
Email: events@publicdefenders.us
Phone: (502) 219-6149

The Clarence Darrow/David Baldus Death Penalty College is an annual training program for capital defense attorneys, mitigation specialists, and capital investigators held in downtown Iowa City at the University of Iowa College of Law, located in the heart of the campus.   

May 16-20, 2023.  Starting at 1 pm on the 16th and ending at noon on the 20th.  

Participants spend the week working on their own pending cases as well as learning from some of the most prestigious capital defense trainers in the country. Each day, participants engage in various learning activities, including small group sessions, lectures, role playing, and strategy demonstrations for guilt/innocence and penalty phases.  Solo practitioners without an active case are welcome to attend


Small group sessions are designed to provide constructive feedback and encouragement while also brainstorming the case and doing actual case preparation for the capital trial. These sessions are followed by lectures and demonstrations for smaller groups or plenary sessions for all participants. Evenings are primarily unscheduled, allowing participants to explore all that Iowa City has to offer.


The program is held in honor of the late Professor David Baldus, whose thorough, groundbreaking capital punishment research significantly impacted the death penalty defense community and legal community as a whole. Professor Baldus is best known for “the Baldus study,” cited by the United States Supreme Court in McCleskey v. Kemp, although his research extends far beyond.

Intensive Intellectual Disability Track option featuring Bring YOur Own Case Option

Intellectual disability is an absolute bar to the death penalty, making this a necessary area of investigation in every capital case. There are no exceptions.

This intensive training introduces participants to the nuances of investigating and litigating intellectual disability claims and features strategies for overcoming common barriers to identifying and effectively presenting evidence of ID.  This course is geared towards intermediate and experienced capital practitioners. Beginners are welcome to attend, but the material is advanced.

It is our mission to ensure that no one with intellectual disability is ever executed. We are dedicated to equipping all members of the defense team with the tools needed to discover, investigate, and effectively litigate intellectual disability.

Intellectual disability can be difficult to detect.  Often, clients go to great lengths to hide their disability due to shame and embarrassment, even when it can save their life. Unlike common stereotypes, those with intellectual disability cannot be identified based on their appearance or superficial interactions. Clients may appear “normal” in the context of school, work, family or when we first encounter them as the defendant in a capital prosecution. Education is crucial to overcome these stereotypes.

This training will offer the most up-to-date legal and scientific information concerning ID and provide hands-on opportunities to practice skills needed to screen effectively for ID. Students will learn how to work with mental-health experts and how to develop and provide the detailed life-history information needed for an effective evaluation. Instructors will include psychologists, lawyers, and mitigation specialists who are experts on the subject.

Confirmed Faculty (subject to change)

Donavan Bailey, Mitigation Specialist, Arizona
Nawal Bashimam - attorney, Nikolas Cruz Team
Gabrielle Darden - investigator,  Nikolas Cruz Team
Jennifer Friedman - attorney, California
Kim Green - attorney, Kentucky
Tom Griffiths - attorney, Kentucky
Emily Hughes - attorney, Iowa Law School 
Lori James-Townes - mitigation specialist,  Executive Director of NAPD
Jon Lyon - investigator, Illinois 
Melisa McNeill, attorney,  Nikolas Cruz Team
Dani Mickenberg - attonrey & mitigation specialist, Louisiana
Amy Nguyen - mapping expert, Texas 
Dr. Greg Olley - ID expert, University of North Carolina
Jeff Sherr - attorney, Training Director of NAPD
Emily Paavola - attorney, National Habeas Assistance and Training Project
Dr. Daniel Reschly - ID expert, Vanderbilt
Juandalyn Taylor - attorney, Gonzaga Law School
Dr. Marc Tasse - ID expert, Ohio State
Anu Vishaw - mitigation specialist, Georgia
Betsy Wilson - attorney & mitigation specialist, Illinois 
Juliet Yackel - attorney & mitigation specialist, Illinois 
Lorinda Youngcourt - attorney, Washington




Pricing includes lunch each day


Early Bird pricing  before February 28

Members - $950

Non Members - $1000

February 28-April 1
Members - $1000
Non-Members - $1050


After  March 1

Members - $1050

Non Members - $1100

There is a $100 discount for every registration from an organization after the first 3.

Scholarship applications available at this link

Hotel Information: 

Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown/University

Stay Dates:  May 15th-20th, 2023

King Rooms:  $98/nt.

Last day to make Reservations:  April 21st, 2023

Reservation Booking Link:  NAPD 2023 Darrow Baldus College Conference

Click above booking link > Click BOOK NOW > Enter dates within group block date range > Click BOOK NOW > Scroll down to view available room types within block rate to reserve.

Phone Reservations:  call the Central Reservations Office at: 1-800-233-1234 and reference the NAPD 2023 Darrow Baldus College Conference or Group Code: G-EDBG

    Hyatt Place Iowa City Amenities:

  • Located Downtown Iowa City near dining and entertainment
  • Roomy rooms feature comfy Cozy Corner sofa, spacious desk, mini fridge and HDTV
  • Complimentary Daily Hot Breakfast
  • Heated Indoor Pool overlooking Downtown Iowa City
  • 24/7 Fitness Center
  • Complimentary WI-FI Throughout Hotel
  • World of Hyatt rewards program
  • Complimentary Temperature-Controlled Underground Parking (1 vehicle per room, based on availability)

Available for additional cost:  Meeting Rooms, Coffee to Cocktails Bar and Pet Friendly


NAPD Cancellation Policy
All registration cancellations must be submitted in writing to accounting@publicdefenders.us at least 30 days prior to the first day of the event. Refunds will be processed via the original payment method, minus a $50 administrative fee, after the event. In lieu of a refund, an organization may transfer the registration to another attendee at no additional cost. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 30 days in advance. If NAPD is able to fill the spot with an attendee on the waitlist, a refund will be issued.

NAPD doesn't apply for CLE or track attendance to provide certifications for our live webinars, conferences and online courses. This helps us keep the price as low as possible and avoids the disruption of the flow of the training required by many states to verify attendance.


We are able to provide CLE for dozens of recorded sessions from previous training for NAPD members in most states.   These sessions are only $10 per credit hour.   For more details, log in with your NAPD credentials at this link.     

By registering for this training, I am affirming that today I am neither a prosecutor, nor attending this training  with the purpose of aiding the prosecution of any criminally accused.   I further affirm that I  am dedicated to the ideals of the criminal defense practitioner, and am committed to the causes of effective and zealous defense of those charged with crimes, the protection and assertion of constitutional rights afforded the criminally accused, and the recognition and preservation of human dignity of those charged with crimes.  I further affirm that my use of the information provided by this training  will not be used by me in any manner which would impugn the above set out ideals.