• The Capital Appeals Project is a non-profit law office founded in 2001 by R. Neal Walker to provide representation to capital defendants on direct appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court and on certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.
  • CAP is one of the leading death penalty appeals offices in the country, and has represented clients in several recent cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Read about our top cases.
  • CAP provides high-quality representation in the state and federal courts throughout Louisiana, and acts as a resource to public defenders and criminal defense lawyers across the state.
  • If you are interested working with us or accessing our resources, please contact us by phone or email.


Cecelia Kappel smiling and wearing a gray blazer in front of a brick wall.

Cecelia Kappel

Executive Director

New Orleans native Cecelia Kappel is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans Law School and has defended clients on death row at CAP since 2008. She has been the Executive Director of the Capital Appeal Project since 2018. She can be reached at ctkappel@defendla.org

Board of Directors

  • Jancy Hoeffel (Chair)
    Professor, Tulane University Law School
  • Una A. Dean (Treasurer)
    VP, Assistant General Counsel, IBM 
  • Samantha Kennedy
    Mitigation Specialist
  • Rebecca Hudsmith
    Federal Public Defender
  • Melanie Carr
    Mitigation Specialist
  • Judge Calvin Johnson (Emeritus)
    Executive Director, Metropolitan Human Services District
  • Andrea Armstrong (Emeritus)
    Professor, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
  • Denise LeBoeuf (Emeritus)
    Director of the John Adams Project at the ACLU
  • Soren Gisleson (Emeritus)
    Partner, Herman Herman & Katz LLC
  • Wilbert Rideau (Emeritus)
    Author, Capital Defense Consultant
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