Overcoming Impossible Odds at Sentencing (Fearless Lawyering, Vol. 3, with Joel Meyers)
What can you do when your client with two prior felony drug convictions gets arrested and charged for a new and very serious drug trafficking offense? Most lawyers, looking at this history, the substantial weight of drugs involved, a pile of money, and a gun, would resign themselves to epic defeat. This man was facing a sentence that could easily have landed this client in prison for the rest of his life.
But, attorney Joel Meyers was going to do everything in his power to achieve a different result. He knew that his client had a story to tell. More importantly, he knew that if he did his homework, developed that story with credible witnesses, experts, and evidence, there was hope.
I was fortunate to play a role in this result, as Joel, an “old friend” from our law school days, reached out to me to do a sentencing mitigation video in the case. He knew that the story was everything, and in this case, there was likely no better way to persuade the judge of the truth of our mitigation narrative. The end result was nothing short of astounding.
IN THIS EPISODE:
- Cooperation as a way to demonstrate extreme remorse;
- Why former prosecutors don’t always make great defense lawyers;
- Why psychological evaluations can be critical to help put the crime in proper context;
- The decision process for making a sentencing mitigation video;
- How the video inspired the attorney making it, the client who saw it, and the judge who insisted on having the whole courtroom watch it;
- The astoundingly good outcome achieved in the case, which included not only a low term of custody, but release at sentencing so that he could self-surrender to serve the rest of his sentence;
- The power of past, present and future redemption stories;
- The importance of building the right team of experts at sentencing.
Hopefully you never need the services of Joel Meyers. But if you do: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joel-meyers-973b254/
We talked about Prison Consultants, including Maureen Baird (former BOP warden) and Walt Pavlo, President of Prisonology. Here are two recent podcast episdoes featuring both of them:
Also, at the beginning of this episode, I lament my lost radio career. Here’s the man who crushed my dreams… but I’m not bitter! https://youarecurrent.com/2019/09/09/carmel-clay-historical-society-exhibit-features-whje/
NACDL ARTICLE ON SENTENCING MITIGATION VIDEOS – Click button below to download:
on THE “3Rs” of SENTENCING NARRATIVE – Click button below to download: