WSJAt the end of a trial, defendants found guilty of a criminal charge are to be prescribed punishment at a sentencing hearing held by the judge in the case. A new tactic that defense attorneys are using in attempts to lessen their clients’ sentences is the submission of a sentencing mitigation video at these hearings. While the use of these videos exists in a legal gray area, many counselors are successfully portraying their guilty clients in a positive light through these short films in hopes for leniency. To read the full article on these videos, please visit the Wall Street Journal. Read More



Mission: Every Client has a story. A Sentencing Video allows that client to tell his story to the judge

The Goal:
To show the sentencing judge that your client is a real human being, not just a Sentencing Guideline number.


A. Sentencing Video –
-is a concise, direct, personal interview with the defendant that enables the judge to see your client in the best possible light.

B. Courtroom Scenario –
Most defendants are in shock, intimidated, inarticulate, or simply unable to speak in open court in front of a judge to reveal their innermost thoughts or to plead for mercy for themselves.

The defendants’ supporters have been called as character witnesses, but they are oftentimes too intimidated by court proceedings, or unable to speak clearly, or concisely.

C. Sentencing Video Goals:

  1. To enable the client to express his remorse, take responsibility for his actions, and appeal to the judge for mercy in a venue that allows the client to make his statements in a calm, pressure-free environment.
  2. To enable the judge to get to know the client as a human being,
  3. To allow the client’s supporters; family, children, former employers, minister, neighbors, high school coaches, anyone who has positive things to say about the client, to appeal to the judge for a lesser sentence.
  4. To include medical/mental health professionals, (psychologists, therapists, physicians) who offer insight into the client’s issues for the judge to consider in imposing sentence.

Benefits of a Sentencing Video:

This video can be presented in advance of the sentencing hearing so the judge has the opportunity to view it while considering the appropriate sentence to be imposed.

It is the defense attorney’s responsibility to coordinate and arrange the appearance of character witnesses.

There are frequently scheduling difficulties.

A Sentencing Video eliminates complicated logistics by
condensing all those interviews into one clear, concise DVD presentation for the judge to review.

A Sentencing Video does NOT:

Revisit the crime or the trial.

The Sentencing Video DOES aid the judge in making a decision as he/she considers the optional sentencing possibilities.

Unlike the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report, our Sentencing Video offers emotional content with your client speaking to the Court in first person.

THE SENTENCING VIDEO DOES enable the client to express himself in a calm, confidential environment, without an audience, where he or she can speak about their fears, their regrets, and hopes to the judge who is about to impose sentence.

Defendants are able to open up and be candid in a controlled, supportive environment. They answer questions about their lives, events that have shaped them, circumstances that have brought them to this point.

In brief, defendants get the chance to show the sentencing judge that they are real people, with feelings, hopes, dreams, children and families whom they love.

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