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Capital Case Section


The Capital Case Section (CCS) within the Criminal Division was created in response to the Department's increased involvement in capital litigation and charged with overseeing the Department's capital prosecutions.

The purpose of the CCS is to promote consistency and fairness in the application of the death penalty throughout the United States and to ensure that Federal prosecutors in districts throughout the country who are prosecuting capital cases have access to the expertise and resources available through the CCS attorneys and support staff.

The CCS is primarily responsible for assisting the Attorney General's Review Committee on Capital Cases (AGRCCC) in its evaluation of capital cases submitted by United States Attorneys to the Department of Justice for review and recommendation to the Attorney General concerning the appropriateness of seeking the death penalty.  The CCS conducts a preliminary analysis of all cases in which the United States Attorney charges a defendant with a crime punishable by death and advises the AGRCCC of the factual and legal issues that are relevant to the Committee's recommendation to the Attorney General whether to seek the death penalty.

In addition to providing the expertise and analysis necessary to complete the preliminary capital review process, CCS attorneys provide legal, procedural, and technical assistance to United States Attorneys in capital investigations and prosecutions; develop policies and procedures for Federal capital prosecutions; provide training for Federal capital litigators; draft legal memoranda and pleadings; maintain a resource library on capital issues; and provide assistance in capital trials, appeals, and post-conviction litigation.


Richard E. Burns
Chief, Capital Case Section


Department of Justice Main Switchboard
(202) 514-2000