NACDL - Using Lessons from the Capital Arena for Sentencing Advocacy in All Cases

Using Lessons from the Capital Arena for Sentencing Advocacy in All Cases

Over time, advocates in the capital defense arena have figured out which strategies work and which do not work. Defense lawyers in noncapital cases can learn from the strategies developed during several decades of capital representation. They can incorporate these strategies into sentencing advocacy for clients charged with drug offenses, noncapital murder, or any other crime. While the process has begun to incorporate mitigation in noncapital cases, the practice has not become widespread. In noncapital cases, the offender is more likely someday to be released and returned to society. This requires more focus on development and resources for the offender that will facilitate a smooth re-entry.