We will assist you and your team in identifying mitigation factors to be used for plea negotiation, trial and/or sentencing.
As directed by the ABA Supplemental Guidelines for Mitigation in Capital Defense Cases, we document a comprehensive bio-psycho-social history of each client through an exhaustive investigation.
ABA Guideline 4.1
Provides for the assembly of a "defense team" in capital trial and post-conviction proceedings consisting of at least two qualified attorneys, one fact investigator, and one mitigation specialist.
Requires at least one team member to be qualified to screen for mental or psychological disorders or impairments (this is something a LCSW can do).
SUPREME COURT SAYS… FOLLOW THE ABA GUIDELINES!!
U.S. Supreme Court cases which cite ABA publications regarding the Penalty Phase:
- Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510 (2003)
- Rompilla v. Beard, S.Ct., 2005 WL 1421390 (U.S. 2005)
Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510 (2003)
ABA Guidelines cited as "well-defined norms" for deciding what is reasonable.
Decision in Penalty Phase to "not to expand their investigation beyond the PSI and the DSS records fell short of the professional standards…"and "the standards for capital defense work articulated by the American Bar Association."
Rompilla v. Beard, S.Ct., 2005 WL 1421390 (U.S. 2005)
"It is the duty of the lawyer to conduct a prompt investigation of the circumstances of the case and to explore all avenues leading to facts relevant to the merits of the case and the penalty in the event of conviction. The investigation should always include efforts to secure information in the possession of the prosecution and law enforcement authorities. The duty to investigate exists regardless of the accused's admission."