Understanding Autism at Sentencing

At least 1 in every 54 Americans are on the Autism Spectrum.  But prosecutors and judges often fail to understand what Autism is, why those on the spectrum can be morally blameless for the crimes they have committed, why they are they unlikely to reoffend, and why sending them to prison is cruel and unusual…

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YouTube Bonus Episode: Sedition Edition!

The 1/6 hearings are in full swing. We don’t know what will come of it. What we do know is that there have already been two major indictments brought by the DOJ alleging the crime of “Seditious Conspiracy”. But, it is a total mystery what kind of sentences a judge may impose if convictions ensue.…

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Narrative is Everything at Sentencing!

Lawyers are fundamentally problem solvers; and narrative is, as Dr. Randy Olson tells us, is “a series of events that occur in search of a solution to a problem.” So, if you want to persuade decision makers to reach the right result at sentencing, you must communicate in narrative. Helping us get set for sentencing…

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Telling the Story of Prison at Sentencing

Prison is not just a potential outcome of sentencing; it can and should be an influencer at sentencing.  Where a person will serve their time, how a person will serve their time, and what information follows them into an institution are all integral components of a comprehensive, empathy-based, sentencing presentation. Helping us get set for…

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Disrupting the Dehumanizing Sentencing Process

I can think of no better guest to officially launch the Set For Sentencing Podcast than the incomparable Liz Vartkessian!
Her amazing organization takes an undeniably essential humanistic approach to the development of crucial sentencing mitigation in capital and serious non-capital cases.
I have learned so much from Liz and the fantastic trainings her organization provides over the years, and I can’t wait for you to meet her.

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persuasive communication and but therefore

The Three Most Important Words in Persuasive Communication

We lawyers are told to use narrative to advocate for our clients and persuade decision-makers.  But, nobody ever taught us how to tell great stories.  That’s all about to change. Persuasive Storytelling Imagine we are hunkered down at our favorite bar.  I throw back a shot and say, “Man, have I got a story for…

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Senators Sell Sentencing Snake Oil at KBJ Confirmation Hearing

The Set for Sentencing Podcast is so close to launch and I can’t wait for you to see/hear it.  But, given that the recent Senate Confirmation Hearings for Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson were so heavily focused on federal sentencing law, I could not wait to get started.  Here was an impromptu, lively conversation with Mark Allenbaugh.  Mark is a federal sentencing expert, the founder of sentencingstats.com, and formerly served as a Staff Attorney for the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

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Anastasia Screams In Vain: The Devil’s Coming For Melissa Lucio

I Stuck around St. Petersburg, when I saw it was a time for a change. Killed the Tsar and his ministers, Anastasia screamed in vain. –Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones The famous Stones song is a meditation on evil.  If we have some understanding of the devil’s work, we may better understand the…

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