Riley Anapol is a legal fellow. Prior to joining the team, Riley served as a member of the Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic and interned at both the Habeas Corpus Resource Center and the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. During school, he participated in the Community Restorative Justice Project and worked as a submissions editor for the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law. Riley graduated magna cum laude from San Francisco State University with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy and received his law degree from UC Berkeley.
Cormac Boyle is a Staff Attorney. Cormac began working on capital cases in 2007 when he was an investigator at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center and Capital Appeals Project. Prior to working on capital cases, he worked for the Legal Aid Society in New York City, and taught elementary and middle school students in Harlem as well as on the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation, a tribe of the Ochethi Sakowin.
Elise Gonzalez is a Records Specialist. She is a New Orleans native. Elise recently graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Symbolic Systems and a minor in Human Rights. She was an Intern at The Promise of Justice Initiative in the summer of 2018, and is excited to be back doing the work to make Louisiana a safer and healthier state.
Sara Gozalo is a Unanimous Jury Specialist. With a PhD in immunology from UMass, Sara co-founded Students for Peace and Justice. She was also a member of the Worcester Global Action Network. In 2016, Sara was the Supervising Coordinator of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City until she moved to New Orleans. Sara is originally from Madrid, Spain. She is a queer immigrant who believes in a world without borders and without jails, where everyone has the right to live in dignity.
Alice Kallman started as an investigator in September of 2019. Alice transitioned into the role after working as the Client and Family Assistance Coordinator for a year. She was placed at PJI through a yearlong Jewish fellowship called Avodah, which explores social justice through a religious lens. Alice graduated from the University of Chicago in 2018 with a BA in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies as well as Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Nishi Kumar is a staff attorney. She litigates around various criminal justice issues affecting currently and formerly incarcerated people throughout Louisiana. She graduated from NYU Law School in 2015, where she was a Hays Civil Liberty fellow, a Notes Editor on the NYU Law Review, and co-chair of the South Asian Law Students Association. After graduation, Nishi clerked for Judge Paul Watford on the Ninth Circuit and Judge Jesse Furman on the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, Nishi was a middle school math teacher at New Orleans College Prep.
Samantha Kennedy is an attorney and mitigation specialist specializing in juvenile sentencing advocacy and capital defense penalty phase development. Samantha obtained a Bachelor of Art degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Carleton College and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University. Samantha has extensive experience and training in legal strategy and narrative building derived from fieldwork and record investigation and analysis. She has developed, in particular, an understanding of mental health and illness, symptomology, adolescent and brain development, intellectual disability, as well as the role that economics, gender, language, race, and culture can play both in life experiences and in systems that impact people. She has coached many budding professionals in the field of mitigation, as well as been faculty for dozens of capital defense, mental health, and Miller/Montgomery trainings, workshops, and conferences around the world. Samantha was raised in the Twin Cities and is based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Michael Cahoon is an organizer working on PJI's LA Repeal Project and East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Project. Before coming to PJI in 2018, Michael was a lead organizer with SEIU Local 509, a 20,000 member union of social workers, human service providers, and educators, where he also served as president for an independent union of SEIU organizers and support staff. Before organizing, he worked in policy research and development for New Jersey After 3, a nonprofit providing after school programming, evaluation, and policy consultation. He has a BA in English and Social Science from Bennington College in Vermont.
Cecelia Kappel is a New Orleans native and Executive Director of The Capital Appeals Project. Cecelia is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans Law School and has defended clients on death row since 2008. She has been the Executive Director of CAP since 2018.
Josh Occhiogrosso-Schwartz is a staff attorney specializing in juvenile life without parole cases. Prior to working at the office, he was a supervising attorney, veterans specialist, and staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders. Before working at the Bronx Defenders office, Josh was a staff attorney in the Felony Trials Division of the Orleans Public Defenders.
Caroline Tillman is a Senior Staff Attorney. She specializes in representation of death sentenced people in state and federal court in direct appeal, post-conviction, and federal habeas proceedings.Caroline attended Cambridge University where she earned a BA degree in History and Law, before attending the College of Law in London. During this time, Caroline interned in New Orleans at the Loyola Death Penalty Resource Center and the Center for Equal Justice. Caroline worked at the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana until 2010 when she joined the staff at the Capital Appeals Project and The Promise of Justice Initiative.
Ariel Moyal is a Client and Family Assistance Coordinator. Her work focuses on supporting impacted people and their families. She is passionate about this work because she recognizes the importance of a commitment to clients, as full human beings; that extends beyond specific litigation in their cases. Ariel graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Studies. She comes to this work, and to New Orleans, as an Avodah Jewish Service Corps Member.
David Wheaton is orginally from the great city of Atlanta, and is a legal fellow. David has experience interning for the ACLU Capital Punishment Project and the ACLU of North Carolina. David also has experience working as a resident in practice with the Transformative Justice Coalition in Washington D.C. and as an organizing fellow for the North Carolina Democratic Party. David has a BA in Economics from Guilford College and a law degree from Elon University School of Law.
Michael Winters is a Client and Family Assistance Coordinator. Michael is originally from Chicago and attending Saint Louis University in Missouri where he studied Economics, Marketing, and Urban Poverty Studies. Michael has come to the work through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a Catholic year of service program. Michael's work entails supporting those impacted by incarceration as well as their friends and family. He is quite passionate about this work and was involved with various reformative justice initiatives while in college.
Jude Braud is a New Orleans native. Jude started as and has been an intern through The Welcoming Project and is now a Unanimous Jury Specialist. He loves music, food, and studying law. He has firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be "the product of the system." While he prevailed in his situation, he was able to do so only because he was forced to study the law. He understands that knowing one's rights and fighting others' liberties is both prestigious and serious. He is acutely aware that being in the system doesn't mean you're guilty and that all people need advocacy. He is dedicated to the fight for equal justice and liberty. Jude is also a college student at Delgado, where he is pursuing Business Management.
Alisha Rae Florida is a bookkeeper at CAP/PJI. She was born and raised in Miami. After receiving her BA in Theatre from Florida State University, she moved to New Orleans in 2011. She is an artist in printmaking, zine making, and cartooning. Alisha also kept accounts for the winning #YesOn2 Campaign. Currently, she is in school at the University of New Orleans for accounting and will sit for the CPA exams in the spring. Alisha enjoys Star Trek, keeping houseplants alive, baking gluten free treats, and spending time with her dog, Chibi, and cat, Lisa Frankenstein.
Shanita Farris started as a legal fellow in 2016 and is now a staff attorney. Her work includes challenging the conviction and death sentence of individuals sentence to death in Louisiana on direct appeal and in state post conviction. She also represents clients who were sentenced to juvenile life without parole. Shanita is the co-author of the "Dying in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison" report that exposed circumstances surrounding the death of individuals in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, and assisted on the petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in Ramos v. Louisiana. Shanita is an alumna of Spelman College and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
Carli Raben is a legal fellow. Before attending law school, Carli spent four years as a public school teacher in Louisiana. Carli received a public interest scholarship to attend the University of Miami School of Law as a Miami Scholar. As a law student, Carli worked as an Ella Baker Fellow at the Community Justice Project, the Campaign to End Extreme Sentences at the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights, and in Miami's Environmental Justice Clinic. Carli also externed with the Florida Justice Institute and the Capital Litigation Unit of the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office. Carli graduated summa cum laude from teh University of Miami School of Law and is barred in Louisiana.
Amber Thorpe is an office manager and paralegal. Originally from Los Angeles, Amber moved to New Orleans to attend college at Tulane University and they graduated in 2018 with a dual degree in anthropology and political science, with a minor in Africana studies. Before working at the 1024 Building, they worked at Tulane University's Center for Public Service coordinating service-learning courses and facilitating conversations about equity and oppression on Tulane's campus.