Retaining a Forensic Mental Health Expert In Miller Cases

In Miller v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to automatically sentence individuals to life without the possibility of parole for a crime committed before their 18th birthday. A defense attorney has numerous strategic decisions to make when a defendant will be resentenced pursuant to Miller, such as whether to retain a mental health expert. Dr. Antoinette Kavanaugh explains the benefits of a forensically trained mental health expert, and she offers pointers to help prepare the clinician, defendant, and defendant’s family for the clinician’s evaluation.