Have a client who can collect over 400 letters to present to the judge prior to sentencing? The quantity is impressive, but do the letters leave a lasting impression? Do they reinforce your themes for mitigation?
In a post-Booker world, most powerful sentencing submissions lay out a client’s history and characteristics with a comprehensive sentencing presentation: a detailed memorandum that puts the offense into the context of the client’s life, powerful objections to the presentence report, character letters from an array of individuals who know the
The author interviewed Tess Lopez, a former U.S. probation officer for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. For 13 years,she specialized in presentence investigations. In 2005, she took her expertise in the area of sentencing to the private sector and is now a mitigation specialist with a national practice.
In December 2006, a young East Indian immigrant was arrested, along with several other young men, and charged in the Western District of Texas with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. An investigation revealed that the illegal activity involved growing in excess of 1,000 marijuana plants. The defendant subsequently pled guilty to one count of the
In fall 2009, a client was facing sentencing in a small town after a lengthy trial. Not only was he facing sentencing in a case that had attracted national attention, he also faced an unsympathetic local community as well as an antagonistic press. It was clear to our defense team that a unique approach was needed
Among all types of federal offenses, child pornography inherently elicits the most visceral reaction. As the Internet and other technologies have allowed greater access to videos and photographs of child pornography, detection and prosecution has increased, with states and the federal government devoting substantial resources toward the investigation and prosecution of such offenses.