Why Mitigation Matters

A death penalty trial contains two phase: the penalty phase, where
the jury is asked to determine guilt or innocence, and then a separate
sentencing phase should the jury return with a guilty verdict. During
the penalty phase, attorneys for the person facing a death penalty are
permitted to present mitigating evidence as to why his or her client
should not be sentenced to death. In many cases, because of a lack of
resources or expertise, attorneys do not present critical mitigation
evidence that would have convinced the judge or jury to impose a life
sentence rather than a sentence of death.

An investigation of a capital defendant's life almost always reveals
a history of trauma, deprivation, abuse, and/or mental disability. SCHR
attorneys and investigators bring these realities to life. Presenting
to courts in post-conviction hearings what should have been presented
to juries during the original trial, SCHR seeks to demonstrate the
humanity in all our clients.


For books about the Death Penalty, click here.

For films about the Death Penalty, click here.

For links to other organizations working to abolish the Death Penalty, click here.

For general articles and resources written and assembled by SCHR staff, click here.