Mitigation Matters

Tell the Client's Story: Mitigation in Criminal and Death Penalty Cases (Edward Monahan & James Clark, editors; American Bar Association), 2017, ISBN: 978-1-63425-914-9

Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-03

34 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2017 Last revised: 10 Jan 2018

John H. Blume

Cornell Law School

Russell Stetler

Office of the Federal Public Defender, Oakland

Date Written: December 21, 2017

Abstract

Mitigation matters. It works. It literally saves lives every day, often in cases in which a death sentence seems a foregone conclusion. But mitigation matters — it works — only if the capital defense team is committed both to conducting a comprehensive investigation of the client’s life and to developing and integrating the results of the investigation into a compelling, credible narrative for life. This commitment to uncovering and telling the client’s true story must be complete and unwavering. When it is, life sentences follow. When it is not, undeserved death sentences are imposed.

Keywords: mitigation, death penalty

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Blume, John H. and Stetler, Russell, Mitigation Matters (December 21, 2017). Tell the Client's Story: Mitigation in Criminal and Death Penalty Cases (Edward Monahan & James Clark, editors; American Bar Association), 2017, ISBN: 978-1-63425-914-9; Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3091902

John H. Blume

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Russell Stetler (Contact Author)

Office of the Federal Public Defender, Oakland ( email )

Oakland, CA
United States

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