Faculty and Staff

Elisabeth Semel, Clinic Director and Clinical Professor of Law Professor Semel is the founding director of the Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic and is a nationally-recognized expert on capital punishment. She has published and spoken widely on issues related to the death penalty, race discrimination in jury selection, and the rights of individuals accused of crime. Throughout her career, she has defended criminal defendants in state and federal courts with an emphasis on representation at the trial level, including in homicides and capital cases. 


 Ty Alper, Clinic Associate Director and Clinical Professor of Law Professor Alper has been representing indigent clients on Death Row for more than a decade. Prior to joining the Berkeley Law faculty, he served as a staff attorney at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. He has written extensively on issues related to lethal injection, physician participation in executions, and post-conviction litigation.    



KMillerPic Kathryn Miller, Clinical Supervising Attorney Kathryn Miller joined the Death Penalty Clinic as the Clinical Teaching Fellow in 2015, and became the Clinical Supervising Attorney in 2018. Before coming to Berkeley Law, Miller was a staff attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), where she represented people on Alabama’s Death Row in appellate and post-conviction proceedings. She also litigated cases involving children sentenced to die in prison and appeared in front of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. Prior to joining EJI, Miller was a public defender at the Bronx Defenders, where she ran the intern trial skills program and ultimately served as a supervisor of the felony training team. She received her J.D. from Berkeley Law in 2007 and is a 2007 alumna of the Death Penalty Clinic.


p1260272-4Heather Canfield, Paralegal Heather Canfield joined the Death Penalty Clinic in October of 2016. She brings with her over a decade of experience as a capital mitigation specialist working on federal and state cases in jurisdictions across the country. She has worked for capital nonprofit organizations in both California and Louisiana, and has served as invited faculty at conferences across the country. Heather was born and raised in the Bay Area and is an alumni of the University of California, San Diego, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution) and a Bachelor of Arts in Third World Studies.