A Handful of ACEs: Another Approach Under § 3553(a)

Lawyers encounter a substantial number of people who have suffered from a high number of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that resulted in maladaptive risk behaviors and influenced the commission of the client’s offense conduct. Since lawyers are unrestricted in the information they can present to the court during sentencing under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and 18 U.S.C. § 3661, David Savitz urges advocates to become familiar with the ACEs Study. When using an ACEs approach, the attorney is not offering an excuse for the defendant’s conduct, but rather an explanation of it.