“It’s a Real Life”: A Former Client’s Redemption Story

Set for Sentencing podcast promotion design (1 Guest)_sm

Helping us get Set for Sentencing this week, an amazing human who happens to be not only a former client, but also the subject of my first full-on sentencing mitigation video ever produced in Federal Court, almost twenty years ago!

I am so grateful that Dustin Arnold agreed to share his incredible journey from gifted student to deep addiction, from arrest to sentencing, and from rehabilitation to true redemption.   His story continues to inspire and amaze.

Dustin tells us what it feels like to put his fate and future in the hands of a lawyer.  He also talks about what it was like to tell his story in front of a camera for a “sentencing mitigation video”.

What’s a sentencing mitigation video, you ask?  Well, take a listen!

We didn’t know it at the time, but we were setting the wheels in motion for a completely new and powerful way to advocate.  Flash forward twenty years and the process is gaining momentum in courts all over the country.

Sentencing videos were even the subject of the Simpsons (S. 30, ep. 15, “101 Mitigations”).

So buckle up, and let’s get Set For Sentencing!


  • What it feels like to be a client in the hands of a lawyer who isn’t doing their job (and one who is);
  • How the system can actually do more good then harm when the right resources and the right decision-makers are in place;
  • Explanation of sentencing mitigation videos and how they can make all the difference in a case;
  • A case study in why having discretionary sentencing (and a thoughtful judge) is vital;
  • Mitigation videos are not simply for “wealthy” clients who are trying to “buy a lower sentence.” This technique was born and raised in the office of the Federal Public Defender;
  • Sentencing videos on The Simpsons?!;
  • The seed that grew into the mighty oak – the evolution of mitigation filmmaking;
  • Dustin’s best advice, heart to heart, from a client to a lawyer;
  • Who doesn’t love a happy ending????


The Simpsons, “101 Mitigations”

Snippit of Dustin Arnold Sentencing Video

FREE RESOURCE:  Doug Passon’s Article from The Champion on Sentencing Mitgation Videos:  Using Moving Pictures to Build the Bridge of Empathy at Sentencing.

Check out this episode on YouTube (and smash the subscribe button while you’re at it)

Listen on Apple Podcasts!

Sharing is caring!

You might also like these recent podcasts