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Death Penalty Assistance Project

WDA's Death Penalty Assistance Project (DPAP) is a resource for attorneys, investigators, mitigation specialists, and support staff who represent capital defendants. The Death Penalty Assistance Center has transitioned from its previous home at TDA/PDA to the Washington Defender Association in September of 2015. Cindy Arends Elsberry is now leading the project.

The Washington death penalty statute is found at RCW 10.95. The death penalty is a potential punishment for individuals convicted of aggravated first degree murder who were 18 years or older at the time of the crime.  The list of potential aggravating circumstances is found at RCW 10.95.020.  


WDA Death Penalty seminars will bring together high quality death penalty litigators and related professionals for continuing education on substantive issues related to capital case defense and mitigation. Death penalty practitioners come together to enhance their skills, share tips of the trade, and network.  You will find upcoming death penalty training opportunities offered by WDA and other organizations in this section. For past trainings offered by WDA, go to the Trainings tab on the website.


The list will serve as a forum for discussion between lawyers, mitigation specialists, investigators and paralegals involved in capital cases.

Technical Assistance

Technical case assistance is available in capital cases and other cases in which the death penalty may be decreed.


Studies and Reports on the Death Penalty in Washington, Briefs/Motions/Pleadings, Aggravated Murder Reports.

Helpful Links

Information and news from around the country on the death penalty.
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