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July 1, 2021

Latest online issue of NACDL's "The Champion" full of sentencing articles

April_2021I am pleased to see that the April 2021 issue of The Champion, a magazine/journal of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is now online.  The cover calls this "The Sentencing Issue," and I have already had a chance to read a couple of the great pieces therein.  Here are some of the major article that can be found in this issue (which the brief descriptions provided on this NACDL page):

"Defense Lawyers Can ‘Rewrite’ the Sentencing Guidelines, One Case at a Time"

How can defense counsel obtain a sentence below the range recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines? The common approaches can be enhanced by two things that defense lawyers seldom use: the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s data on actual sentences and precedents “hidden” from standard legal search engines.

"Formulating and Presenting Effective Sentencing Arguments When Representing Cooperators"

When representing a cooperator, some defense lawyers tend to cede to the government three critical assessments that must be determined: the value of the information the cooperator provides, the cooperator’s relative worth as compared to others similarly situated, and the extent of the departure due under U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1. The authors describe the pitfalls lawyers should avoid when representing cooperators.

"The ‘3 Rs’ of Sentencing Storytelling"

Defense lawyers tell only three types of sentencing stories. These stories involve Revelation, Relativity, and Redemption. Understanding the “3 Rs” of sentencing storytelling will help the defense craft the strongest mitigation arguments and achieve better results for clients.

"The Perils of Parole and ‘Program Speak’: Understanding and Managing Culpability Statements in Post-Conviction Settings"

During parole board hearings, sometimes a client will use language indicating that he deserved a severe sentence for his crime. Clients learn this language while attending prison programs that subtly teach them to say what the parole board wants to hear. The client may use this language (“program speak”) even though he committed no crime. In doing this, however, the client may foreclose any future possibility of clearing his name. How can a defense lawyer mitigate such statements?

"Inside NACDL: NACDL’s Effort to Confront the Trial Penalty Gains Momentum"

NYSACDL Report Confirms Near Extinction of Trials in the Empire State. In March 2021, NACDL and NYSACDL released the trial penalty report. The report defines what practices are encompassed by the trial penalty, identifies the underlying causes, depicts it through profiles of individuals, and proposes concrete reforms to curtail the prevalence of the trial penalty.

July 1, 2021 at 09:31 AM | Permalink


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