History & Overview
Where we began & where we are going...
Florida Capital Resource Center was founded in 2009 by Terence "Terry" Lenamon, a renowned capital defense attorney in Miami, Florida, and Cynthia "Cindy" O'Shea, a talented defense attorney-turned-mitigation specialist who works with Terry on many of his capital cases. Terry and Cindy believed that Florida's capital justice system was (and still is) in a state of emergency because capital defense attorneys are often underfunded, under-qualified, or simply unmotivated to provide effective representation, particularly in cases involving indigent defendants. Though vast amounts of taxpayer dollars are spent on the administration of Florida's death penalty, budget cuts and poor legislation have reduced critical public defender resources and act to discourage talented private attorneys from registering for court-appointment. To help counter that growing and alarming problem, Terry and Cindy decided to create a nonprofit organization that would provide a place where capital defense attorneys could find death penalty-related information and trial materials. They commissioned a website designed to house a clearinghouse of materials, and those materials are constantly expanding.
Since its inception in 2009, FCRC's mission has expanded and its goals have broadened. Today, the mission of Florida Capital Resource Center is to assist indigent defendants facing the death penalty by providing consultation, research, training, advocacy, and other necessary resources to capital defenders state-wide. Recognizing the "uneven playing field" inherent in the defense of impoverished individuals on trial for their lives (and the gross limitations of post-conviction remedies, even in the most constitutionally-violative cases), FCRC attempts to ensure that long-standing inequities are mitigated or abolished. FCRC operates in multiple venues, including standing with those seeking statutory and rule changes intended to remove injustice from all relevant aspects of death penalty law and practice. Working with other organizations (both local and national), FCRC seeks to protect the constitutional rights of Florida's capital defendants by increasing access to critical resources, thereby improving the level of representation provided by Florida's capital defense bar.