Case Support

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.

Technical Assistance

Technical case assistance is available in capital cases and other cases in which the death penalty may be decreed.   The death penalty is a potential punishment in any case that is charged as aggravated murder in the first degree pursuant to RCW 10.95, or any other premeditated homicide crime which could be charged as aggravated murder in the first degree based on the underlying factual allegations, until the imposition of the death penalty is no longer possible. RCW 10.95.020 lists aggravating factors that can elevate a premeditated homicide case to aggravated capital murder. The death penalty is not a potential punishment for any person under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. RCW 10.95.030(3).

Please contact Cindy Arends Elsberry for assistance.