Capital mitigation specialists must conduct a mitigation investigation consistent with the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases and the Supplementary Guidelines for the Mitigation Function.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly made clear:
To provide effective assistance of counsel in death-penalty cases, the defense team must conduct a mitigation investigation that includes “a thorough investigation of the defendant’s background.” Citing the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases, the Court explains, “among the topics counsel should consider presenting are medical history, educational history, employment and training history, family and social history, prior adult and juvenile correctional experience, and religious andcultural influences.” That is part of the mitigation specialist’s job.
As capital mitigation specialists, we conduct a mitigation investigation consistent with the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases and the Supplementary Guidelines for the Mitigation Function.
We conduct extensive, multi-generational interviews, apply a “scorched-earth” philosophy of record collection, and provide the attorneys with whom we work a clear, concise report of our findings that is tailored to the needs of the case. We also work with the attorneys to develop themes, identify and collaborate with experts, and prepare compelling trial presentations.
Of course we will adapt our practice to your preferences, but generally, for each case we prepare a life-history chronology and a log of records gathered. Unless you prefer that we didn’t, we also will prepare written reports for each interview and will provide you copies of all the records that we gather.
We are also happy to help seek out and coordinate with experts. Because the results of our social-history investigation are so important to an effective psychiatric consultation, should you decide to hire a psychologist or other mental-health expert, we would be very grateful to be involved with the selection of the expert and the formulation of the referral question.
Together, we bring experience, professionalism, and passion to each case. We’d be happy to talk to you about our practice generally or about your mitigation needs on a specific case.