The Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel (CPCC) is a statutorily-created state agency. See Mississippi Code Section 99-39-101. The CPCC was created to provide representation to indigent parties under the sentence of death in post-conviction proceedings as well as ancillary matters related to review of their convictions and sentences. The CPCC is its own state agency and thus not part of any other agency.
Post-conviction is a legal process with elements of both criminal and civil law. It occurs after an individual is convicted and sentenced, and the conviction and sentence is affirmed on appeal. A post-conviction proceeding challenges the legality of some aspect of the criminal trial, the judgment of conviction, or the sentence.
Some common examples of claims asserted in a post-conviction petition include but are not limited to: actual innocence; a prosecutor unconstitutionally striking jurors based on their race or gender; the rendering of ineffective assistance of counsel by the trial attorney; a change in the law; or the discovery of new facts.
The CPCC consists of a collaborative group of five attorneys, two mitigation specialists, an investigator, a paralegal, and a secretary/receptionist. The CPCC dedicates its entire practice to the field of post-conviction in Mississippi and to effectively protecting the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of persons sentenced to death.