Pursuant to the American Bar Association [ABA] Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases (Rev. Ed. Feb. 2003), at least one mitigation specialist is a mandatory part of the defense in any capital case.
Mitigation specialists possess clinical and information gathering skills to recognize things such as congenital, mental, or neurological conditions.
A mitigation specialist:
- compiles a comprehensive and well-documented psycho-social history of the client based on an exhaustive investigation
- analyzes the significance of the information in terms of impact on development, including effect on personality and behavior
- finds mitigating themes in the client’s life history
- identifies the need for expert assistance
- assists in locating appropriate experts
- provides social history information to experts to enable them to conduct competent and reliable evaluations
- works with the defense team and experts to develop a comprehensive and cohesive case in mitigation
The mitigation specialist often plays an important role as well in maintaining close contact with the client and his family while the case is pending. The rapport developed in this process can be the key to persuading a client to accept a plea to a sentence less than death.
Contact us today for more information on our Death Penalty Mitigation.