NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Jodie represented her first capital client forty-one years ago. For the past 31 years she has been in private practice in Indianapolis handling death penalty cases – at times as a trial defender, a mentor or expert witness in post-conviction proceedings or, as a capital mitigation specialist or jury consultant. She has mitigated capital cases in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma and Ohio. Last fall, she served as lead counsel in a penalty phase retrial and got her client, who had spent 21 years on Indiana’s death row, a sentence of 110 years. Earlier this year she was the mitigation specialist for another client who spent 20 years on Indiana’s death row and is now serving two life sentences. Her testimony as an expert witness on ineffective assistance of counsel resulted in the Seventh Circuit’s grant of a penalty phase retrial for in 2018.
From 1998 – 2009, in addition to lawyering, Jodie was the part-time Training Director for the Indiana Public Defender Council. Jodie has served as a faculty member for the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) summer Trial Practice Institutes since 1981, for NCDC’s advanced programs in Cross Examination, Theories and Themes of Persuasion, Voir Dire and Closing Argument; and capital trial advocacy programs including Life in the Balance, the Darrow Death Penalty College, and the Bryan Schechmeister Death Penalty College in San Jose, California. Jodie has taught thousands of criminal defense lawyers, social workers or mitigation specialists in twenty-seven states and was part of a team invited to Moscow to facilitate the Russians’ transition from three judge panels to juries. Jodie was a “Super Lawyer” for seven years. Writing and storytelling are special passions. In 2014 Jodie earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University.
Jodie’s son Ben is an artist and freelance journalist and her daughter Cady works for Salesforce in Colorado and is an avid climber of 14’er’s. In her spare time Jodie writes poetry, jogs, kayaks, camps, hikes and reads. Her first grandson, Sovann, was born in Cambodia on the Fall Equinox and now lives with her and his parents, disrupting their sleep cycles with exquisite precision and yet his smile, on waking, is poetry itself.
Recent Teaching History