Set for Sentencing Podcast with Doug Passon

Over a million people a year will face sentencing.  For a client and their loved ones, it will be the most important day of their lives.

Unlike at trial, there is virtually no limit to the kind of information a lawyer can credibly present to advocate for their client and demonstrate their humanity at sentencing.

My passion is helping lawyers and clients craft their most compelling sentencing narratives.  So, I was inspired to create this new podcast drawing on my 25+ years of criminal defense experience, my passion for storytelling, my expertise in producing mitigation videos, and my years spent consulting and developing compelling case narratives that get real results.

In Set for Sentencing, I present cutting edge resources, world-class experts, and the straight scoop on our often dysfunctional system -- all in service to one goal -- to bring more justice, more humanity, and more hope to the sentencing process.

So, are you ready? Then let's get SET FOR SENTENCING!

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Latest Episodes

The Zero Point Offender Guideline Amendment: The ZIPPO IS ON FIRE!

Yes, we came up with a pithy name we are sure will catch on for the new and VERY consequential US sentencing guideline amendment which allows a 2-level reduction for those with zero criminal history points and who aren’t excluded based on several listed criterion.   This amendment is a BIG DEAL, and will be retroactive,…
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Surrender Georgie: Possible Sentencing outcomes for George Santos Indictment

Yes, NY Congressman George Santos is innocent until proven guilty. And he deserves his “day in court”. But, he has already been tried and convicted in the media for a plethora of demonstrably provable falsehoods, which will not bode well for him should he choose to exercise his right to trial on fraud charges. Will he…
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JSIN: Will “Judicial Sentencing Information” Mutilate the Stats or Slash Sentences?

The US Sentencing Commission created “JSIN” (sounds like “Jason”) as a resource for Judges who want to understand how defendants are really being sentenced under the guidelines.   And, currently thirty-one federal jurisdictions are now incorporating JSIN data into the pre-sentence report. But, are the stats accurate?  Could these numbers help or harm our clients? Therefore,…
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Overcoming Impossible Odds at Sentencing (Fearless Lawyering, Vol. 3, with Joel Meyers)

What can you do when your client with two prior felony drug convictions gets arrested and charged for a new and very serious drug trafficking offense?  Most lawyers, looking at this history, the substantial weight of drugs involved, a pile of money, and a gun, would resign themselves to epic defeat.  This man was facing…
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The Power of a State “Sentencing Study” (with Rich Robertson)

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve heard me talk, ad nauseum, about the use of sentencing statistics in Federal cases.   But did you know that sentencing statistics are also relevant in your STATE CASES?  But, state sentencing data is often harder to access, and may require a tenacious investigator to fight arduous public records request battles.…
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Fearless Lawyering, Vol. 2: Exposing the Racist Origins of U.S. Immigration Law with Kara Hartzler

Criminal immigration matters make up some 70 percent of all federal cases charged.  But the statutes our government uses to prosecute and sentence undocumented human beings to serious prison time, was motivated by racism and discriminatory intent.  Therefore, a team of fearless lawyers mounted a massive undertaking to challenge these statutes in federal court —…
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BIG Guideline Changes on the Horizon (With Mark Allenbaugh)

On April 5, 2023, the United States Sentencing Commission voted to make several substantive changes to the federal sentencing guidelines.  If approved (or not acted upon) by Congress, some of the most significant amendments in recent memory will go into effect on Nov. 1, 2023.   These changes will effect anyone currently pending sentencing in federal…
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Defending Autism With Mark Mahoney (Pt. 2)

This week, we continue our crucial conversation on Autism with Mark Mahoney, America’s leading Autism defense attorney ( There is so much we don’t know when it comes to ASD, and because it’s so prevalent, lawyers must be on the lookout for this issue in every case.  It matters.  It matters to culpability, it matters to recidivism,…
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Defending Autism With Mark Mahoney (Pt. 1)

We began this conversation in Ep.5,  “Understanding Autism at Sentencing”.  But the topic is so important, and so close to my heart and the work that I do, it’s time to dig in deeper. In the first of a two-part episode, we talk with the nation’s premiere criminal defense attorney when it comes to representing…
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