Each day, in courtrooms across the state, Trial Division lawyers appear before juries and judges to meet the challenge of defending constitutional rights and assuring equal justice for the poor. From misdemeanors to murders, from bond hearings to jury trials, a Trial Public Defender must be an expert litigator and zealous advocate.
Capital Litigation Division
The purpose of the Capital Division is to provide the highest-quality representation to individuals against whom the State of Missouri is seeking the death penalty at the levels of the State Trial Court, the State Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Attorneys in this division engage in a daily struggle to save the lives and protect the constitutional rights of their clients. This litigation is extremely complex and intense.
Appellate/Post-Conviction Relief Division
Attorneys in the Appellate/PCR Division provide representation to indigent persons who have been convicted of felony offenses, after either a trial or a guilty plea. These attorneys develop a thorough knowledge of the intricacies of state and federal post-conviction procedures, as they handle direct appeals from felony convictions after trial, post-conviction trial court challenges to jury verdicts and guilty pleas, and appeals from post-conviction proceedings. This division is also dedicated to protecting the rights of death-row clients in post-conviction trial-level cases, and on appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court.