Chief, Capital Case Section

Washington, D.C
Jun 15, 2019
Jun 22, 2019
Executive, Chief
Full Time


The Capital Case Section (CCS) advises and participates in capital prosecutions with the United States Attorney's Offices, including acting as co-counsel. CCS provides guidance and training on all death penalty matters including appeals, the pre-trial, and trial process. CCS advises the Attorney General's Review Committee on Capital Cases on whether to seek the death penalty in eligible cases and provides advice to senior DOJ staff on policy matters.

This position serves as the Chief of CCS.
Learn more about this agency


The Chief is responsible for oversight, management, and day-to-day direction for a specialized group of federal prosecutors charged with providing direct litigation support to United States Attorney's Offices (USAO) handling capital cases. The Chief:
  • Oversees each of the functions of the Section which includes providing legal, procedural, and technical assistance to USAOs in capital investigations and prosecutions; developing policies and procedures for federal capital prosecutions; providing training for federal capital litigators; drafting legal memoranda and pleadings; maintaining a resource library on capital issues; and providing assistance in capital trials, appeals, and post-conviction litigation.
  • Provides extensive constitutional, substantive, procedural and technical assistance to USAOs in capital case investigations and prosecutions. Ensures that legal and factual analysis of cases submitted for death penalty protocol review are well reasoned, thorough, and well written. Gives advice and assistance, and develops policies and procedures related to federal capital prosecutions. Represents the Division at intra-departmental and interagency meetings and briefings for Congressional staff and members. Contributes to key legislative, guidelines, rules and policy matters relating to capital cases.
  • Oversees the analysis of capital cases and subsequent advice to the Attorney General's Review Committee on Capital Cases. CCS advises the Committee in relation to the factual and legal issues relevant to the Committee's recommendation to the Attorney General regarding whether to seek the death penalty.
  • Serves as an advocate for the financial, human, and technical resource allocations to the Section under the incumbent's leadership. Works closely with the Office of Administration to ensure that resource enhancements necessary for proposed priorities are identified and justification for additional funding is prepared to ensure adequate funding levels.
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment and support for the Division's equal employment policies and programs to enhance workforce diversity. Advocates merit promotion principles in all aspects of personnel hiring, promotions, training and development and retention. Sustains an organizational culture which encourages accountability, motivation and peak performance.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - - Domestic travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.
  • If the selectee is not a current employee of the U.S. Department of Justice, they will be required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.
  • The managerial qualifications of a selectee who is not a current or former career Senior Executive Service (SES) employee must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before appointment.
  • Individuals entering the SES career service for the first time are subject to a one-year probationary period.


Interested applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Applicants must be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) in good standing and have at least 5 years post-J.D. experience. Applicants must also have a high level of management/supervisory experience.

Applicants must submit a resume and a separate narrative statement/response that addresses each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification factors related to this position as well as the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) related to all positions in the Senior Executive Service.

OPM's Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications can assist you in writing an effective SES application. In particular, please note the Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model that is recommended and very helpful when drafting ECQ narrative responses. The Guide is available on OPM's Website at: .

Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements:
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with federal criminal practice, including experience in investigating and prosecuting federal capital cases.
  • Experience in managing and supervising teams of attorneys and their work product.
  • Experience in establishing and maintaining harmonious relationships with the public, members of Congress, federal law enforcement agencies, United States Attorney's Offices, and Department and Division senior officials.
Executive/Managerial Requirements:

ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE . This core qualification encompasses the ability to develop and implement an organizational vision, which integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors. Inherent to it is the ability to balance change and continuity, to continually strive to improve customer service and program performance within the basic Government framework, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking, and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence, even under adversity.
  • Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, Continual Learning, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Service Motivation, Strategic Thinking, Vision
ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE . This core qualification involves the ability to design and implement strategies, which maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.
  • Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Cultural Awareness, Integrity/Honesty, Team Building
ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN . This core qualification stresses accountability and continuous improvement. It includes the ability to make timely and effective decisions and produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.
  • Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility
ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN . This core qualification involves the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner which instills public trust and accomplishes the organization's mission, and to use new technology to enhance decision making.
  • Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Technology Management, Human Resources Management
ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS . This core qualification involves the ability to explain, advocate and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, and negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally. It also involves the ability to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations, and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.
  • Leadership Competencies: Influencing/Negotiating, Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Partnering, Political Savvy, Written Communication


A J.D. degree.

Additional information

The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any non merit factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Attorneys' Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, non-U.S. citizens may apply for employment with other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S. citizens are extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Candidates will be evaluated on the mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements identified above. Based on their total background, i.e., education, training, self-development, awards, outside activities, performance appraisal, as well as work history. If candidates are found to possess all technical requirements, they will then be evaluated based on the Executive Core Qualifications as established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) outlined above.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Required Documents

To receive consideration, applicants must submit:
  • A resume
  • A separate statement addressing each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements.
  • A separate statement addressing each ECQ that describes your managerial experience. While individuals who are current or former career SES members (approved by OPM and have completed an initial probationary period) need not submit an Executive Core Qualifications statement, they are required to provide an SF-50 or SES certificate to demonstrate their current or prior service. Otherwise, the absence of ECQs will be identified as a failure to comply with the requirements of the vacancy. Applicants must meet qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.
  • If you are a current or recent Federal employee, you must submit a copy of your latest Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) and a performance appraisal issued within the past 12 months, or if none exists, please include a statement to that effect.

  • If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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