Sentencing Mitigation Specialist Bookmark and Share
There are any numbers of services that we offer related to Capital Defense work. We are prepared to work with either government agencies or private attorneys in these matters. We work with the defense team as a liaison between the defendant, the attorneys, the other experts and the defendants family members. Mitigation specialists are now mandated in the US Supreme Court’s decision Wiggins v. Smith, 123 S. Ct. 2527 (2003) We have consulted on more than 60 capital cases. Some of the more important services we provide for capital mitigation are as follows:
  1. Full investigation of all documents and material that relates to the defendant and his family: At times this includes several generations of paperwork to find, review and digest as a part of the search for mitigation.
  2. Review of case discovery and analysis of the state’s case: This can also be enhanced by using a number of spreadsheets or timelines that help create a clear picture of the facts and developmental themes in the defendant’s life.
  3. Atkins investigations: The Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 321 (2002) that the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the execution of persons who are mentally retarded. We have worked on a number of these types of cases and have gathered “Atkins like” material for diminished capacity and false confession defenses as well. In addition we have worked with a number of cases that defendants have organic brain disorders such as Fetal Alcohol Effect and are greatly familiar with the guidelines necessary to develop this kind of defense.
  4. Victim Liaison Consulting: When a crime occurs there can a wide impact on both victim and defendant families. On some of our past cases we have been successful in working with the victim’s relatives’ and mediating between the two families.  This is a very difficult task yet we have seen willing family members on both sides, truly reconcile between their differences.  Upon completing interviews we can provide affidavits of such to both defense and prosecution.  These affidavits can be used in a number of ways i.e., rebuttal of victim impact statements, clarification of family history and explanation of the victims family’s viewpoints on punishment.
  5. Defendant management: Earning the trust of the capital defendant is paramount to success in our advocacy of their needs. We spend the time and make the connections to each person and the family members involved. We regularly visit the defendant pre-trial in the facility they are held in and assist in keeping “snitches” at bay with the support and monitoring the capital defendant so often needs.
  6. Telling the clients story: Humanizing the capital defendant requires thorough investigation and details of their past. We find that lay witnesses and the anecdotal evidence they provide is powerful for juries to hear. We can obtain affidavits from witnesses and help prepare them for testimony. Videos and PowerPoint presentations can be prepared as well.
  7. Coordinating guilt and penalty phase themes: Conflict is inherent when working on the clashing needs of the guilt and penalty phase. Positive Resources, LLC have participated in 13 penalty phases out of 17 trials and have extensive experience in navigating the issues when telling jury’s your client is innocent but now needs to be spared from a death verdict. At times the themes can build together, helping explain the difference between criminal culpability (guilt) versus moral culpability (penalty). Using a variety of resources and experts we can assist in handling of these conflicts in a way that teaches the jury about the defendant and their lack of decision making skills that could have lead to their criminal charges.
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Sentencing Mitigation Specialist
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