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Professional Staff
Sean D. O'Brien,
The Clinic's President and Executive Director, is a Past President of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and past Chairman of the Missouri Bar. He is an Adjunct Professor at UMKC Law School. Before joining the Clinic, he was the Public Defender in Jackson County, Missouri.

Kent E. Gipson,
is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer with years of experience in the trial and appeal of criminal and capital cases. He served with Mr. O'Brien in the Public Defender's Office as Trial Team Leader and First Assistant Public Defender. He was named death penalty defense litigator of the year in 1996.

Angela R. Keck,
staff attorney, served as an Assistant Public Defender in Jackson County, Missouri. She served for three years on the support staff of the Missouri Capital Punishment Resource Center, and is a past President of the UMKC chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild. She is the 1995 recipient of the Guild's Social and Economic Justice Award.

Cedric D. Brown,
staff attorney, represented clients and criminals cases with the Law firm of fields, Brown, Williams and Clark before accepting a position as a staff attorney with the Missouri Capital Punishment Resource Center in 1990. He has represented indigent death row inmates and consulted with appointed counsel in numerous post-conviction death penalty cases. Mr.Brown received a J.D. degree from UMKC School of law in 1988.

Ethel M. Gurke,
is an Accredited Legal Secretary who manages the physical facilities on a day-to-day basis. She is a former Administrative Assistant with the Missouri State Public Defender System. She has an extensive medical background prior to becoming a legal secretary.


The Clinic was incorporated on May 23, 1989, as a non-profit corporation. It is tax exempt pursuant to 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The Clinic is supported by court appointed counsel fees, in-kind support from the UMKC School of Law, a grant from the Missouri Lawyer Trust Account Foundation, and private charitable contributions.

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