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It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive..Earl Warren
Complete Bio-Psychosocial History

  •  Peri-prenatal development
  • Early childhood and adolescent development
  • Medical History
  • Incidents of neglect or abuse
  • Symptoms of social impairment
  • Quality of caretakers,homes, and schools
  • Consistency and quality of social support
  • Presence and effect of corrupting influences
  • Economic climate
  • Cultural influences

Collection of Records

  • School
  • Employment
  • Psychological
  • Social Services
  • Medical and psychiatric

Strategy Development

  • Identification of expert witnesses
  • Development of applicable social science theories
  • Psycho-social chronological time line
  • Genograms


  • Assist in communication between client, family, and the attorney
  • Preparing witnesses for testimony
  • Coordination of expert witnesses




Benefits of Mitigation


  • A social worker can obtain a psycho-social history that will provide the trial team with a great deal of information that can be used not only during the penalty phase of a trial, but also during the guilt/innocence phase.
  • The "helping" that is established between the social worker, the client and the client's family is a natural by-product of a thorough mitigation investigation and is extremely beneficial to all parties, including the defense team.
  • Theories and themes can be identified and solidly supported with the relevant facts and documentation that have been developed during the extensive investigation.
  • Lay witnesses can be identified and can provide testimony concerning the client's life experiences.
  • The trial team can avoid the damage that may result from a wide-ranging examination by a state-sponsored expert.
  • The lawyer/agent relationship between the trial team and the consulting expert is preserved and the confidentiality of work product is maintained.
  • The testifying expert can then focus on the most persuasive theories. This expert can take the results of all relevant information gathered during the investigation, tie it all together and explain its significance to the jurors so that they can understand why the client did what he/she did.
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