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Lifesaver Award Nominations

The Schumacher-Ketcham Lifesaver Award

The Schumacher-Ketcham Lifesaver Award Committee is soliciting nominations for this year. The Award is named after our late President Don Schumacher and Board Member Richard (Rick) Ketcham to recognize excellence and achievement in capital litigation: trials (including resolution by plea), mitigation investigation and presentation, appellate/post-conviction/habeas litigation, and education. Past recipients include: Jerry Simmons, Karen Roberts, David Doughten, John Parker, Randall Porter, Rick Ketcham, David Stebbins, Kate McGarry, Allen Bohnert, Carol Wright, Alan Rossman, Dorian Hall, Don Malarcik, Joe Gorman, Brian Pierce (posthumously), Jeff Gamso, Bill Kluge, Tim Sweeney, Jim Crates and  Linda Pudvan Richter.

Nominees should be recognized for their work in one of the following:

  • Trial and Mitigation: Recognize significant achievement in avoiding the imposition of a death sentence at trial either through plea negotiations or acquittal of aggravated murder or the capital specifications at trial or through the development and presentation of mitigation at trial or in the plea process in a given year.
  • Trial and Mitigation Developments: Recognize the discovery and/or development of new and creative strategies for defending a capital case and/or for mitigating a sentence of death and educating the defense bar about the new strategies/developments in a given year.
  • Appellate/Post-Conviction/Habeas: Recognize significant achievement in obtaining relief for death row inmates on appeal, in post-conviction, in habeas, or through clemency in a given year.
  • Education: Recognize significant accomplishments in presenting new and creative litigation strategies to the criminal defense bar through the OACDL seminar or otherwise in a given year.
  • Lifetime Achievement in the defense, mitigation, or appellate/post-conviction/habeas fields or in the education of the defense bar in capital litigation.

Nominations, including a brief explanation of why the nominee is deserving of the award should be submitted no later than October 10, 2023. Please send nominations to Amy Nicol,  Please direct any questions to Amy or David Stebbins (


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