The Midwest Center for Justice
Twenty years have passed since this Court declared that
the death penalty must be imposed fairly, and with reasonable
consistency, or not at all, . . . and, despite the effort of the
States and courts to devise legal formulas and procedural rules to
meet this daunting challenge, the death penalty remains fraught
with arbitrariness, discrimination, caprice, and mistake.
--Justice Harry Blackmun, dissenting in Callins
Summer Clerk Program
Midwest Center for Justice is a small public interest law firm
that represents indigent death row prisoners in Indiana, Ohio,
Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. Our office is staffed by two
attorneys. We also work with several attorneys from outside our office,
as well as with mitigation specialists, investigators and various
mental health and forensic experts in the course of representing
We exclusively represent death-sentenced prisoners in state
post-conviction, federal direct appeal and federal habeas corpus
proceedings, as well as in clemency proceedings whenever the need
at the post-conviction level generally requires the following: a complete
factual and legal investigation of the case; presentation of
evidence to state trial courts; briefing the case to the state
supreme court; preparing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
that is filed in the federal district court; briefing of the case
to the Fifth, Sixth or Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; a
petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the
United States; and, sometimes, petitioning for executive clemency.
Each client is represented by a team consisting of (at
least) two lawyers, and often a mitigation specialist and an
Our office has handled over 50 capital cases in six states. In early January, 2005, we were granted certiorari by the
United States Supreme Court on one of our cases, Stumpf v.
Mitchell, No. 04-637, which we argued in the Supreme Court on
April 19, 2005. It subsequently was remanded to the Sixth
Circuit, where it is pending.