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2019 OPAA Spring Training
April 25th and 26th, 2019
Sheraton at Capitol Square, Columbus, Ohio

This Spring Training seminar will focus on capital crimes, but there is plenty of cross-over to non-capital cases for the prosecutor that doesn’t see them that often. Starting with a broad overview of what to do when a capital case hits the small or medium size county’s desk, we will work through the process step by step, including Screening; Jury Selection; Extradition; Supreme Court decisions; DNA; Intellectual Disability claims; State Appeals; Clemency; and Habeas! Please join us for this special look at complex litigation.

Thursday, April 25th

8:00 - 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00 Now What? When a Death Qualified Case Lands on Your Desk in a Small to Medium Sized County
When a small or even medium sized county ends up with a capital case on their desk it can really put the office in tough situation. First you have to go through what any size county does, then you get to how it is going to affect your smaller county. Who is going to handle the case? What if you have a lack of experience with capital cases? How easy is it to sit a jury? What practical considerations should you be aware of? All of this while you are trying to get through your normal day and typical crimes! Both presenters have been through recent capital cases and will share their experience and how to best handle issues that will most certainly arise.
David Fornshell, Prosecutor
Warren County and
Scott Haselman, Prosecutor
Fulton County

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 - 11:30 Processing A Capital Case
After seeing the broad range of questions and issues that can come up in a smaller county, we will now offer a more in-depth look at several segments of a capital case from a large county perspective.
Ronald J. O’Brien, Prosecutor
Franklin County

11:30 - 12:30 Lunch

12:30 - 1:30 Jury Selection and Voir Dire
This presentation will include the information needed to both death qualify the jury pool and address specific topics in general voir dire.
James Lowe, First Assistant Prosecutor Criminal Division
Franklin County

1:30 - 1:45 Break

1:45 - 3:15 Extradition - International Intrigue and Interstate Necessity
Trumbull County Prosecuting Attorney Dennis Watkins will explain international extraditions by presenting a case study of the return of convicted aggravated murderer Claudia Hoerig from Brazil for a 2007 aggravated murder. Prosecutor Watkins will detail the requirements and work necessary to give the federal government the information and assistance needed to return a fugitive to the United States. Trumbull County First Assistant Chris Becker, who has spent his entire prosecution career working in counties adjoining neighboring states, will cover the basics of extraditions within the United States including the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD) and the rendition of witnesses.
Dennis Watkins, Prosecutor and
Christopher D. Becker, First Assistant and Senior Trial Attorney
Trumbull County

3:15 - 4:15 The Ohio Supreme Court Year in Review April 2018 to April 2019 and OSC and SCOTUS Capital Case Update
The presentation will address recent changes and decisions, from both the Ohio Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States, that trial prosecutors will need to be aware of and consider in both how they try capital cases and in their charging decisions.
Christopher D. Schroeder
Managing Attorney, Capital Crimes Docket
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office

Friday, April 26th

8:00 - 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00 Presenting DNA Evidence in a Capital Case
This presentation will include the use of DNA evidence in a capital case, from pre-indictment to trial. Discussion will cover basics of DNA testing, reading reports, preparing your expert(s), and making DNA evidence palatable to a jury.
Jennifer M. Rausch, Director Criminal SVU and Assistant Prosecutor
Franklin County

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 - 11:15 Intellectual Disability Case Study from Trial to US Supreme Court
The presentation will explore the factual and legal background of the intellectual disability litigation in State v. Hill, a capital case from Trumbull County, Ohio.
Dennis Watkins, Prosecutor
Trumbull County and
Stephen E. Maher, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

11:15 - 12:15 The Problem of the Interlocutory Appeal: When Justice Delayed Benefits the Defendant
Delay in complex or capital criminal cases frequently benefits the defendant by both postponing punishment and eroding the evidence the prosecution relies upon. Interlocutory appeals can delay trial for many months, and an understanding of appropriate grounds for (and responses to) such appeals is important for management of the criminal prosecution. This session will provide an overview of the appellate process in state court for capital cases, both for direct review and post-conviction proceedings, as well as the potential grounds for interlocutory appeal that may delay trial proceedings.
Evy M. Jarrett, Deputy Chief, Appellate Division
Lucas County

12:15 - 1:15 Lunch

1:15 - 2:15 The Nuts and Bolts of Capital Clemency in Ohio
We will explore the legal and statutory background of executive clemency in Ohio capital cases, the expectation and duties in responding to a capital clemency application, and examine some cases in which executive clemency was granted capital defendants.
Stephen E. Maher, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Brenda S. Leikala, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

2:15 - 2:30 Break

2:30 - 3:30 What Every Prosecutor Should Know About Capital Habeas
This presentation will guide you through the Habeas process to help ensure the federal court does not overturn your hard-won capital conviction. We'll explore statute of limitations, federal law, what to do should a writ be granted, and what prosecutors can do to assist in the defense of convictions.
Brenda S. Leikala, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

We have requested approval of 10.75 general hours of CLE from the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

The room rate at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square is $147.00 for single or double occupancy. Room reservations may be made by phone at 800-325-3535; or online at https://www.marriott.com/events/start.mi?id=1551199973367&key=GRP. If you choose the online option, be aware that you can only book three (3) rooms at a time. WHICHEVER METHOD YOU USE, PLEASE MAKE MULTIPLE RESERVATIONS USING INDIVIDUAL NAMES, AND GET INDIVIDUAL CONFIRMATION NUMBERS, RATHER THAN MAKING ALL RESERVATIONS IN THE SAME NAME AND SAME CONFIRMATION NUMBER. Some counties have had disastrous results when canceling a reservation that was made under a single name and a single confirmation number for multiple persons. Be sure to tell the Sheraton you are with OPAA to obtain our rate. To avoid paying tax, accommodations must be paid for with either an office check or office credit card. Personal payment, even though it will be reimbursed by the office, is not tax exempt by state law. Also, provide the Sheraton with a tax exemption form. The cut-off date for our block of rooms is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 28nd. To avoid being charged a penalty in the event that a room reservation must be cancelled, the Sheraton requires that the cancellation be made 48 hours prior to the day of arrival. Hotel check-in time is 3:00 p.m., and check-out time is 12:00 noon. Early check in and late check out are based on availability.

Our contract with the Sheraton anticipates that attendees will pay the above rate of $147.00 for sleeping rooms. Attendees SHOULD NOT request the government rate as it violates the spirit, if not the letter, of our agreement.

The registration fees for OPAA members are $250.00 for both days, and $150.00 for one day only. Registration fees for non-members are $500.00 and $300.00. These fees cover all materials, continental breakfasts, breaks, and lunches on both days. To help defray the cost of food guarantees, cancellations after April 19th will be assessed a $100.00 penalty if scheduled to attend both days, and a $60.00 penalty if scheduled for one day only. OPAA will send the agenda and registration information to the main office address via U.S. mail. Please send registrations to OPAA by April 15th.

OPAA is now providing all course materials in electronic format. Approximately 48 hours prior to the course date, seminar registrants will receive an email that will include a link to a PDF of the course materials. Since reliable wi-fi access at meeting facilities can’t be guaranteed, we encourage registrants to download the materials to electronic media, or print form, for use during the seminar.

Special dietary needs: If any registrant has special dietary needs, please have them contact Delores or Diana at 614-221-1266 so that advance arrangements can be made with the venue. If the venue can handle the request at no additional charge, there will be no charge to registrant; but if outside sources and/or additional charges are incurred, the registrant will be billed accordingly, and will be notified in advance.


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