Texas Tech University

Capital Punishment Clinic

Upon application, four students will be invited to participate to work with the Regional Public Defender's Office for Capital Cases located in Lubbock, Texas. The Office provides representation for indigent defendants charged with capital murder in Texas. The Regional Public Defender's Office for Capital Cases maintains eight offices throughout Texas. The home office is in Lubbock. This is the first Public Defenders Office of its type and is the prototype for representation of those accused of capital crimes.

The selected students will work with attorneys, mitigators, investigators and other professionals to help represent those facing the death penalty. Students will use cutting edge techniques and apply their legal education—most specifically in criminal law, criminal procedure, and legal writing—in order to investigate, interview clients, and witnesses and draft motions and briefs. Students are closely supervised at all stages of their cases by Professor Patrick S. Metze, the Chief Public Defender for Capital Cases, Adjunct Professor Ray Keith, and the trial attorneys and staff working at the Regional Public Defender's Office for Capital Cases.

The classroom component will continue the student's study of capital punishment jurisprudence focusing on skills development, ethics, and case strategy in real on-going capital cases. This clinic requires a significant commitment of time, which will return a unique, experiential opportunity for third year students as they approach the end of their legal education.

Mission Statement

The Regional Public Defender's Office shall represent those indigents charged with commission of capital offense in the participating counties by providing high quality, cost-effective legal services in an ethical, professional, and competent manner. We shall seek to secure the legal protection of our clients, and enhance the quality of life in our community. In accomplishing our mission, we shall treat all people with dignity, respect, honesty and fairness.

Information For Clients

The Regional Public Defender's Office for Capital Cases represents only indigent defendants charged with a capital case where the death penalty is sought at the trial level. There is an administrative office and a trial office in Lubbock, as well as satellite offices in Amarillo, Clute, Burnet, San Antonio, Midland, Terrell and Wichita Falls. All offices are staffed with a combination of all positions, each of which is able to fulfill the constitutional requirements of a core team.

A collaborative effort between counties and the State ensures that competent and effective counsel are appointed to represent defendants while also providing counties with budget predictability and stability.

The following link can provide you with more information on the Regional Public Defender's Office for Capital Cases: rpdo.org.

If you have any questions, please contact us:
Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases Office at:
PO Box 2097
Lubbock, Texas 79408
Phone: 806-775-1520
Fax: 806-775-7954

Important Links