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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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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Every good story has meaning!

We humans are undeniably creatures of story.  Think of how empty life would be without ever having been transfixed by images dancing before our eyes in a dark movie theatre, engrossed in an incredible page-turner, or mesmerized by a master storyteller weaving a yarn around a roaring campfire. But stories are not just for entertainment. …

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The Labor of Law – Save Yourself and You Save the World

Next month I will have officially reached my twenty-fifth year of lawyering; the majority of those years were spent slogging through the litigation trenches as a state and federal public defender.  These can be dark waters we lawyers swim in.  We confront people at their lowest moments in life.  We absorb trauma vicariously through our…

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“Tell me a story”, Says Former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner!

My colleague Alan Ellis travels the country interviewing judges about the most (and least) persuasive elements of sentencing advocacy.  In a recent article published in Law360, Mr. Ellis conducts an extensive interview with Judge Nancy Gertner.  It’s an essential read for all criminal law practitioners.  The full article can be accessed HERE.  The following are…

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