2021 Death is Different

FACDL's Premier Death Penalty Seminar for 27 Years

February 25-26, 2021


All FACDL seminars, apart from the annual Criminal Law Certification Review seminar, are intended to: promote the excellence of, disseminate knowledge to, and provide education to, the criminal defense community.  In that regard, attendance at all seminars (apart from the certification review seminar) is limited to criminal defense attorneys, mitigation specialists, defense investigators and other staff involved in providing criminal defense. 

  • Only registered attendees may submit CLE credit to the Florida Bar
  • Seminar contents and materials are solely for educational purposes. Any opinions expressed by presenters may not necessarily reflect the views and/or policies of FACDL. 
  • Those seminar attendees in need of additional services under ADA, please provide notice of your needs to becky@facdl.org no later than February 21, 2021 so arrangements can be made in advance.

Registration Closed

Be sure that you are logged in for the FACDL member price!!

Registration Types/ Prices:

FACDL Members..... $295
Public Defenders..... $195 (3 or more are $170 each; 5 or more are $155 each)
Non-Members..... $350

Before February 22, 2021- Regional Counsel and Public Defender offices who register 3 or more employees at same time, from their respective offices, will receive a discounted rate of $170 per attendee and those who register 5 or more employees will receive a discounted rate of $155 per attendee.  Cancellations will impact this discounted rate. Registration must include full payment or purchase order submission. See below for Purchase Order Policy.  CONTACT facdl@facdl.org for details and registration assistance.

  • Once you register for Death is Different 2021, a registration email will be sent to you containing important seminar information.  The link to sign up for the Webinar will be sent to the email used for registration on February 22nd.  
  • Chapter Scholarship cutoff date is February 15, 2021
  • This is NOT a recorded event



Seminar Agenda

Thursday, February 25, 2021:            

8:45-9:00 am                Opening Remarks                           

9:00-11:00 am             Picking A Capital Jury Pre-, During and Post Covid by Allison Miller & Casey Secor                          

11:00-11:15 am           Break                                                 

11:15-12:30 pm           A Resentencing Is Not Deja Vu All Over Again by Marc Bookman                          

12:30-1:30 pm             Lunch on your own    

1:30-2:45 pm               Situational Ethics:  An interactive approach by Denis deVlaming                                                                                        

2:45-4:00 pm               Pseudo Experts:  Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation & Crime Scene Reconstruction by Barie Goetz                                      

4:00-4:15 pm               Break                                                 

4:15-5:15 pm               Keynote by Clemente Aguirre-Jarquin                                 

5:30 pm                        Happy Hour?                                  


Friday, February 26, 2021:                

8:45-9:00 am                Opening Remarks                           

9:00-10:15 am             Mitigation Investigation and Covid-19 by Felicia Sullivan  & Teri Thompson                      

10:15-10:30 am           Break                                                 

10:30-11:45 am           The Brain: A Complex, Vulnerable Substrate – Unhinged by Drugs & Alcohol by Susan Skolly-Danziger                         

11:45-12:45 pm           Lunch on your own                                              

12:45-2:00 pm             Protecting your client: preserving the record and post-representation responsibilities by Maria Deliberato, Marie-Louise Parmer & Rick Sitcha                       

2:00-2:15 pm               Break                                                 

2:15-3:30 pm               Emerging Technology Issues in Death Penalty Litigation by Phyllis Cook & Caleb Kenyon             

3:30-4:45 pm               Shazaam!  Case & Law Update! by Pete Mills                              

4:45 pm                        Closing Remarks                           

Speaker Biographies:

  • Allison Ferber Miller: is the Capital Case Coordinator for the Office of the Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, supervising the office’s representation of all defendants charged with Capital First Degree Murder in Pinellas and Pasco counties. Allison also handles her own caseload consisting entirely of the representation of defendants indicted for Capital First Degree Murder, most of whom are facing the possibility of capital punishment upon conviction. She is part of the faculty of the National College of Capital Voir Dire, teaching capital jury selection nationwide using the “Colorado Method.” Allison is board certified in criminal trial law by the Florida Bar.
    Allison received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law. She has worked as an assistant public defender at the Office of the Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida since 2008. She worked at the Office of the Public Defender in Leon County prior to relocating to the Tampa Bay area.
  • Casey Secor is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Suzerain Capital Defense, a nonprofit public charity that provides pro bono representation to indigent criminal defendants facing capital murder prosecution at the trial level in South Carolina and Louisiana. Additionally, he consults on capital cases in Florida. Previously, Casey worked as a staff attorney at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center. Before moving to Louisiana, Casey worked as an assistant public defender in Columbia, SC from 2007 - 2011, and then as a staff attorney with the South Carolina Capital Trial Division from 2011 - 2014. Casey is a member of the South Carolina, Louisiana and District of Columbia bars.  
  • Marc Bookman: is the Executive Director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, a resource center dedicated to all aspects of death penalty defense. From 1993 to 2010 he was in the Homicide Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He has a book of essays (A Descending Spiral) that will be published by the New Press in May 2021.
  • Denis deVlaming: received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Ohio State University in 1969. He graduated from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1972 and is now an adjunct professor there teaching “Advanced Criminal Trial Advocacy.” He is an active criminal trial lawyer as he has been all his career. He is the past president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is board certified in criminal trial law. He is an avid writer and lecturer in areas that affect the practice of criminal defense.
  • Barie Goetz: graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a BS degree in Medical Technology in 1975 and from the University of Pittsburgh with a MS degree in Forensic Science in 1977. He was employed in the Indiana State Police Laboratory system as the chief forensic serologist from 1978 thru 1981 followed by employment with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation forensic laboratories until his retirement as the Director of the Southeast Regional Laboratory in 2004. Beginning in 2005, Barie created Sangre de Cristo Forensic Services, specializing in crime scene reconstruction and bloodstain pattern interpretation. As the forensic investigator on multiple successful post-conviction defense teams, e.g. Timothy Masters, Colorado, David Camm, Indiana and Clemente Aguirre-Jarquin, Florida, he has granted experience in the various ways forensic science has failed to protect the innocence. Mr. Goetz retired in 2018.
  • Felicia Sullivan, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in Georgia and Florida.  She worked as the supervising mitigation specialist at the Georgia Capital Defender Office for a number of years before entering private practice.  She is currently based in Jacksonville, FL and has worked state and federal death penalty cases all of the country.
  • Dr. Susan M. Skolly-Danziger (Skolly) received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Iowa and Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (PharmD) from Nova‐Southeastern University. She holds two Master of Science Degrees, one in Forensic Toxicology and a second Master of Science Degree in Forensic Drug Chemistry. Both degrees are from the University of Florida. She completed an ASHP-Accredited Hospital Pharmacy Residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. She is a Diplomate of The American Board of Applied Toxicology (DABAT). Dr. Skolly was granted initial DABAT status in 1996 and recertified in 2005, 2010 and 2015. Dr. Skolly maintains active pharmacy licenses in Florida, Illinois and Louisiana. Dr. Skolly is also licensed as a State of Florida Consultant Pharmacist. Dr. Skolly was the Assistant Director of The Miami Poison Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital Poison. She was the Managing Director of the Central Pennsylvania Poison Center at the Milton S. Hersey Medical Center at the Penn State University Hospital. She was employed in the area of research and development in the pharmaceutical industry for 11 years, at various companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Shire and Sepracor. Currently, she provides expert witness services as a consultant in the area of forensic and clinical toxicology and pharmacy and pharmacology at Psychiatric Affiliates, PA. in Maitland, Florida (a suburb of Orlando). Dr. Skolly is also currently employed as a Clinical Pharmacist at Select Specialty Healthcare (A Critical Care Hospital) in the Villages, Florida. Dr. Skolly also provides Standard of Care reviews of behalf of the Florida Department of Health. These reviews concern matters in toxicology and pharmacy. Dr. Skolly enjoys applying scientific concepts in both civil and criminal matters.
  • Maria DeLiberato is in private practice in Tampa, Florida at Parmer DeLiberato, PA.  Parmer DeLiberato represents clients in capital and non-capital murder cases at the trial, appellate and post-conviction stages.  Ms. DeLiberato also works part time at the Public Defender's Office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Clearwater, Florida, handling capital trials and resentencings, as well as Miller/Graham cases.
    Parmer DeLiberato, along with co-counsel from the Middle District’s Capital Habeas Unit, also represents several Plaintiffs in the Middle District of Florida, challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s ever-changing lethal injection protocol through §1983 actions.  Ms. DeLiberato also routinely consults with Florida counsel who are litigating under active death warrants on claims relating to method of execution, public records disclosures, access issues, and other legal challenges. 
    Prior to entering private practice in January 2019, Ms. DeLiberato spent more than 12 years at Capital Collateral Regional Counsel – Middle Region, which is a Florida state agency dedicated to representing indigent capital defendants in their state and federal post-conviction appeals.
  • Marie-Louise Parmer is an attorney in private practice in Tampa, FL.  She graduated from the University of Florida College of Law with Honors in 1994. She started her law career as an Assistant Public Defender in the 13th Judicial Circuit, Tampa, where she tried many serious cases. She was Chief of the Sex Offender Division when she left in 2003 to practice capital post-conviction litigation at Capital Collateral Regional Counsel-Middle, where she was quickly promoted to First Chair. In 2015, she entered private practice and formed her own law firm, now known as Parmer DeLiberato, P.A. The Firm focuses on criminal defense and handles serious felonies at the trial, appellate and post-conviction stages in state and federal court. 
    Ms. Parmer also represents clients for Capital Collateral Regional Counsel-South as a Special Assistant Capital Collateral Counsel.
    Ms. Parmer has litigated a number of high-profile cases at the post-conviction, trial and appellate levels including fighting for 10 years for the exoneration of Clemente Aguirre-Jarquin, a Honduran National who spent 14 years in prison for a double murder that he did not commit; fighting for 14 years to obtain a life sentence on behalf of Anthony Farina, Jr., who spent 25 years on death row for the murder of a young woman during a robbery despite the undisputed fact that he was not the triggerman and was only 18 years old at the time of the offense; and, currently fighting for Jessica Hill, a young woman who, when she was only 17 years old, killed the man, 60 years her senior, who had raped her since childhood.  All three cases produced one or more favorable appellate decisions. 
  • Mr. Sichta is a board-certified attorney in criminal-appellate law and owns The Sichta Firm with his wife and law-partner Susanne Sichta in Jacksonville Florida. Mr. Sichta previously served as a Director for the Florida Capital Resource Center, a Center dedicated to assisting criminal defense attorneys in death penalty cases throughout the State of Florida. He also taught the inaugural “Wrongful Convictions” course at Florida Coastal School of Law.  Mr. Sichta has been consistently recognized as one of Florida’s “Superlawyers” by Superlawyers Magazine.
  • PHYLLIS COOK has been an Assistant Public Defender with the 17th Judicial Circuit since 2005.  She is currently assigned to Major Crimes Unit, specializing in Death Penalty Litigation.   She has been a member of FACDL since 2014 and currently serves on the FACDL Death Penalty Committee for the second year.  Having not been a diehard Gators fan, she has attended a game or two at the Swamp in her lifetime.
  • Caleb Kenyon is the current president of the 8th Circuit chapter of FACDL. He has been a member of FACDL his entire legal career. He practices criminal defense in both state and federal court throughout north central Florida with Turner O’Connor Kozlowski. Not originally from Gainesville nor did he grow up a Gators fan, while attending UF Law he found it a great place to call home. When not litigating, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son
  • Pete Mills is an Assistant Public Defender in the 10th Judicial Circuit and Chair of the Death Penalty Steering Committee for the FPDA. Pete has handled many capital cases at trial, post-conviction, and clemency levels. He is also a contributor/editor of “Defending a Capital Case in Florida” He may be reached at pmills@pd10.org.

Refund Policy

Tuition refund is a $35 administrative fee which will be made for cancellation received in writing/email by 4 pm February 2, 2021. No refunds will be made after that time.

Purchase Order Policy for Public Defender and Regional Conflict Counsel Offices

In order to make the registration of government attorneys and investigators more defined, efficient, and equally applied, FACDL implements the following policy for Government agencies wishing to register their employees (attorneys or investigators) for a FACDL seminar:

  • Government agencies may purchase registrations to any FACDL seminar by emailing FACDL a Purchase Order listing the name and email address of each attendee.
  • Purchase Orders must be received by FACDL no later than the online registration cut-off date for the particular seminar.
  • Attendee names listed on a Purchase Order may only be replaced by another name before the online registration cut-off date. Substitutions will not be allowed after the online registration cut-off date.
  • Onsite registration is available for any government attorney or investigator with direct payment at the time of registration, but not by Purchase Order.
  • Refund fees will apply to names removed and not replaced from a Purchase Order before the refund cut-off date.
  • The no refund policy and cut-off date will apply to individual attorneys as well as to those registered through a Purchase Order.  Full payment on a Purchase Order will be expected after the refund cut-off date regardless of ability to attend.  After the refund cut-off date, those registered that are unable to attend, will be afforded the materials only registration (including the recording) if such option is available at no extra cost.
For more information call  the FACDL office at (850) 385-5080 • E-mail: facdl@facdl.org
No telephone registrations, please.