Using The Supplementary Guidelines For The Mitigation Function Of Defense Teams In Death Penalty Cases To Change The Picture In Post-Conviction (PDF)

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All murder cases are difficult to defend. But a murder case that has already resulted in (1) a conviction of capital murder, (2) a jury’s sentence of death, (3) a state supreme court’s conclusion that the jurors got it right, and (4) the United States Supreme Court’s refusal to intercede—then what does a defense team do? The prosecution’s version of events has been endorsed by the jurors, multiple courts, the news media, and the public. The tabloid press has often given the condemned defendant a catchy dehumanizing nickname: “The Night Stalker,” “The Morbid Minister,” or simply “Monster.” The client’s identity has been reduced to nothing more than a sound bite or headline which even (especially) your friends and relatives recite: “Oh, isn’t this the coldblooded S.O.B. who . . . .” Fill in the blank. Technical arguments about refined points of law alone will not erase this picture. What can?

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