Motions Manual

"[R]esearchers have found convincing evidence that, in the past three decades, innocent people have been executed."

Justice Stephen Breyer's dissent, Glossip v. Gross, 135 S. Ct. 2726 (2015)

Death Penalty Motions Manual

OPD's Death Penalty Motions Manual is an online resource to help trial attorneys address legal issues presented in their cases. Although developed for capital litigators, the Manual is designed to allow the user to easily edit out capital case language and use the remainder of the motion in a non-capital case. To use the manual, browse through the topics until you find the form motion that addresses the issue you face. Download the document to your local computer, and then edit the document to include the caption and facts specific to your case

OPD is always working to provide better resources to practitioners around the state. To do so, we are currently developing an expanded motion and brief bank. If you create a new motion you think would be helpful to other practitioners, or if you revise any of the motions on this page, feel free to submit your new motion so that we can evaluate it for future inclusion in our expanded motions bank once it is developed. Please send all submissions to Jill Beeler at Jill.Beeler@opd.ohio.gov.

A word of caution: Although OPD makes every effort to ensure that the form motions on this page reflect the most recent case law, we all know that the law changes daily. Therefore, you must independently Shepardize the lead cases to ensure that the law has not changed since the form motion was posted to the website. 

Note: All linked documents are Microsoft 2003 Word Document format (.doc).


▶ Motions to Suppress

This Death Penalty Motions Manual does not attempt to cover all of the types of suppression motions commonly applicable to any criminal case; rather, examples are included for your convenience. These bare-bones templates need your case facts added along with citations to any additional authority germane your facts.

For capital cases, OPD suggests that you “capitalize” your standard suppression motions by adding the boilerplate paragraph that appears at the end of the sample suppression motions included in this Manual.

▶ General Trial Procedures