The Office of
Defense Services

Recent Press

The Office of Defense Services is committed to transparency and helping members of the press as much as possible, whenever possible. Below are recent pieces of press about the office or involving staff.

Members of the media should contact Liz Evans, Chief of Staff, at, or at (302)-577-5155.

In February of 2024, Delaware Online published an article regarding the jury acquittal of an innocent New Castle County man in a murder trial. Assistant Public Defender Ralph Wilkinson played a substantial role in the outcome of the case and was quoted in the article.

The Office of Defense Services made the Associated Press in 2023 regarding their advocacy work that led to the Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling that out of state convictions will no longer bar expungements in Delaware!

Post Disposition Unit Head and Assistant Public Defender Eliza Hirst was featured in the Cape Gazette discussing ODS’ involvement in the Clean Slate Delaware Expungement Clinic in Sussex County, as well as the Post Disposition Unit’s ongoing expungement/pardon efforts statewide. View the article here.

Client Advocate Susannah Gale wrote an op-ed explaining the hardships of eviction, the detrimental impact of unstable housing, and the importance of the right to representation in eviction proceedings. Read the op-ed here.

The Delaware Way broadcast a segment on juvenile justice reform, including our efforts to expand juvenile expungements. Check it out here.

Chief of Legal Services Lisa Minutola was interviewed by Delaware Public Media about a package of juvenile justice bills the office is promoting, along with House Democrats.

Chief Defender Brendan O’Neill was featured in a story on PBS Newshour’s website about the fight to bring back Delaware’s death penalty.

An expungement clinic hosted by the Office of Defense Services was featured on WHYY’s Newsworks web site. The clinic helped nearly 100 people.

Attorneys from the Office of Defense Services have successfully argued that Delaware’s death penalty is unconstitutional. Their work received attention in the local and national press. Assistant Public Defender Santino Ceccotti, who argued the case before the Delaware Supreme Court, was quoted by the Associated Press, Reuters, and by local outlets like the News Journal and Delaware Public Media.

Lisa Minutola, ODS’s chief of legal services, and Dawn Williams, the office’s director of training and development, had an article about the Gault decision and the work Delaware needs to do to fulfill the promise of the landmark case featured in the May 2016 edition of the Delaware Bar Association Journal on pages 28 and 29.

Our juvenile justice efforts, including a personal take on juvenile shackling, was written about in the News Journal last week.

Many of our legislative efforts were highly discussed in the press during the 148th General Assembly, as noted here in this political wrap-up story by the News Journal.

An expungement clinic being run by our office, as well as several other partners, was previewed in an article by the News Journal.

Our office was featured in a podcast called Remaking Murdertown, which discusses the problems facing Wilmington. The whole series can be listened to here.

Lisa Minutola, ODS’s Chief of Legal Services, was on the Delaware Way this month to discuss the office’s efforts in Dover to reform the juvenile justice system.

On June 15 the Associated Press filed a story about oral arguments over the constitutionality of Delaware’s death penalty. Santino Ceccotti, an attorney with ODS, delivered the arguments in front of the Delaware Supreme Court and was quoted in the <!– –>story.

On June 9 an op-ed co-authored by Lisa Minutola, ODS’s Chief of Legal Services, ran in the News Journal and on The op-ed decried calls for more police presence in schools.

Attorneys from the Office of Defense Services were featured in a Delaware State News article on April 19 that outlined their response to DOJ attorneys in the legal battle to end the state’s death penalty.

A Kids Caucus meeting that focused on juvenile justice issues received coverage in the press from the Delaware State News and the News Journal.

Matt Albright of the News Journal detailed legislative efforts by ODS and its partners to address issues in the juvenile justice system, such as expungements, indiscriminate shackling, transfer laws, and civil citations, in a front page article published on Monday, March 28.

A bill that would end the practice of indiscriminate juvenile shackling received positive press after state lawmakers released it from committee. The Office of Defense Services played an integral role in pushing the legislation.

The Delaware State News featured the Office of Defense Services in a March article about ongoing efforts to reform the state’s juvenile defense system.

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