Amanda Marzullo holds a J.D. and M.S. in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the GAPSA-Provost Award for Interdisciplinary Research (one of six university-wide prizes), a Toll Public Interest Scholarship, and the Criminology in Practice award for the best graduating thesis. She also obtained an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates-Cambridge Scholar. Prior to joining TDS, Ms. Marzullo was a lobbyist for the Texas Fair Defense Project and an Associate at Clayman & Rosenberg LLP, a criminal defense boutique in New York. During her tenure at Clayman & Rosenberg LLP, she represented clients in a broad spectrum of matters before state and federal court, such as wire/bank fraud, domestic violence, assault, and post-conviction proceedings. While at the Fair Defense Project, she worked on a number of criminal justice reform initiatives, including efforts to eliminate modern-day debtors’ prisons, and improve indigent defense delivery systems throughout Texas.
Kate Black received her J.D. from the University of Denver, where she interned with the Appellate Division of the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender and the Gulf Region Advocacy Center (GRACE), and where she clerked for United States Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer. Prior to re-joining the Texas Defender Service in 2014, she served as a contract attorney with the Texas Habeas Assistance and Training Program, where she consulted with lawyers representing capital defendants in federal court pursuant to a Texas state court judgment. Ms. Black is licensed to practice law in Texas and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Randi Chavez received a Master of Science in Social Work in 2003. While completing her graduate degree she interned at Texas Defender Service as a mitigation specialist. Upon graduation, she was hired as the first full-time mitigation specialist for the Gulf Region Advocacy Center (GRACE) and later worked independently as a mitigation specialist at both the trial and post-conviction levels. She then honed her clinical skills for three years as a clinical social worker in an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Austin, Texas. Ms. Chavez returned to Texas Defender Service in 2009 as a mitigation specialist.
Sam Touchet joined Texas Defender Service after 10 years in the private sector as the CFO of a software development company. Prior experience includes Treasury Manager at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, Texas, Cash and Investments Manager at the City of Dallas, and a stint in the United States Navy. Mr. Touchet received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters of Business Administration in International Banking from the Texas A&M International University in Laredo.
Jared Tyler graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in 2003. After graduating, he worked for three years as Deputy Director of the Texas Innocence Network, in which capacity he represented both capital and non-capital defendants in post-conviction proceedings in state and federal court and taught a course on innocence investigations at the University of Houston Law Center. He first joined TDS as a staff attorney in 2006 until 2009, where he represented capitally sentenced clients at all levels of state and federal post-conviction review. In addition to direct representation, he regularly consults on other state and federal capital post-conviction cases. Mr. Tyler rejoined TDS in 2017. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tanesha Arline received her law degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. During law school, she externed at the Innocence Project as well as with Texas Defender Services under Senator Ellis’ Texas Legislative Internship Program. Before joining Texas Defender Services, Ms. Arline worked in private practice focusing primarily on criminal law, personal injury, and family law. At TDS, Tanesha serves as a fellow on the Capital Trial Project, assisting trial lawyers across the state on capital murder cases. She is licensed to practice law in Texas.
Naomi Fenwick holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law from the University of Cambridge and an LL.M. from UC Berkeley School of Law. Naomi was previously the Donald M. and Susan N. Wilson fellow at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights where she represented victims of human rights violations before the Inter-American system for the protection of human rights. Ms. Fenwick has also worked at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law developing amicus briefing on international criminal law issues, and on the Steering Committee for Human Rights at the Council of Europe. She is licensed to practice law in California and is fluent in Spanish and French.
Tim Gumkowski graduated magna cum laude from Roger Williams University School of Law, in Bristol, Rhode Island, where he also served as an Executive Editor on the Law Review. Following law school, Mr. Gumkowski worked as a law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where his work focused on criminal appeals, habeas corpus, immigration matters and civil rights. He then spent nearly a decade zealously representing indigent clients as a trial attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services. Mr. Gumkowski holds a BA in philosophy from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, and is licensed to practice law in New York.
Mona Kermani holds a BSc. in Psychology from the University of Birmingham, a Postgraduate LL.B. from the University of Law in London and an LL.M. in International Law & Capital Punishment from the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Kermani qualified as a solicitor in the United Kingdom where she was actively involved with the work of human rights organizations including Reprieve, Human Rights Lawyers Association, Law Society International Action Team and Young Legal Aid Lawyers. She moved to Texas in 2014 to work exclusively on the representation of indigent defendants facing the death penalty. Prior to joining Texas Defender Service as a John P. Niland Fellow/Mitigation Specialist, Ms. Kermani worked with persons facing the death penalty in pre-trial and trial proceedings in Harris County and surrounding areas, and at the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs.
Greg Wiercioch received his law degree from the Washington and Lee School of Law in Lexington, Virginia in 1992. After law school he served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, Northern District of Texas. Since then he has worked exclusively on the post-conviction cases of indigent death row inmates, first with the Texas Resource Center and since 1995, for Texas Defender Service. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Wiercioch successfully argued Panetti vs. Quarterman before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007. He now works with TDS on a contract basis.
Gloria Flores received an Associate Applied Science Legal Assistant Degree in Legal Technology from the Houston Community College. She worked for 22 years for Transco/Williams, as a Data Entry Operator, a Gas Scheduling Administrative Assistant and as a Gas System Scheduling Analyst. After leaving Transco/Williams, Ms. Flores volunteered as a legal administrative assistant for the Texas Attorney General Child Support Bankruptcy Division before joining Texas Defender Service in 2004.
Miranda Nolen received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings in San Francisco in 2012. During law school, she worked at Bay Area Legal Aid providing family law and immigration services to indigent survivors of domestic violence. Following her legal studies, Miranda worked in a school, where she continued to develop her interest in empowering vulnerable individuals. Miranda went on to earn a Master of Science in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. While completing her graduate degree, she interned at the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs in Austin, Texas. Miranda joined Texas Defender Service as a mitigation specialist in 2017.
Steve Hall was the founding director of The StandDown Texas Project from 2000 to 2014, which focused on identifying and advocating best practices in the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on capital punishment. He was the Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of Texas from 1983 to 1991, and an administrator at the Texas Resource Center, a non-profit legal services program, from 1993 to 1995. Mr. Hall has worked for state representatives, the U.S. Congress, and served as director of communication for two statewide political campaigns in Texas. Prior to his work in public affairs and media relations, Mr. Hall was a journalist and the recipient of an Associated Press Broadcasters award for investigative journalism. He holds a Bachelors degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin, and Management of Nonprofit Organization certification from the University’s Professional Development Center. He is an Associate Member of the American Bar Association.