Life history and fact investigations for defendants facing capital punishment and juveniles facing life sentences.
Through the assiduous process of fact finding and mitigation we are dedicated to the role of playing an integral part in the fervent defense to indigent individuals facing the death penalty, to alleviate the suffering of those persons, and to contest the opprobrious portrayal associated with defendants the government is seeking to execute.
The Mitigation Mission
"The end result of a well-executed mitigation process is a compelling biography of a person for whom empathy and sympathy can be elicited. In fact, the focal mission of the entire mitigation process is to inspire empathy and sympathy for clients among jurors". Tell The Client's Story, Edward Monahan and James Clark, eds. American Bar Association. 2017. Page 202.
"Mitigation Specialists are critical and integral members of the defense team when a person convicted of capital murder is facing a potential death sentence. Having an experienced Mitigation Specialist is fundamental to effective representation." In this capacity we uncover admissible, reliable mitigation evidence through client and witness interviews as well as through record retrieval. We also work with the defense team to develop effective themes and strategies for the presentation of mitigation evidence. The Supreme Court of the United States has defined mitigation as “any aspect of a defendant's character or record and any of the circumstances of the offense that the defendant proffers as a basis for a sentence less than death.” Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 596, 604-605 (1980).
"Mitigation is a translational process that takes a wide range of information and crafts it into useful defense information. While mitigation is informed by clinical knowledge the desired outcome is not a clinical assessment. Instead, mitigation forms a critical part of the overall defense strategy by fleshing out the fuller context of the client and his or her world. The work involves a unique kind of biographical data collection in order to advance the development of compelling themes that will shape the capital defense efforts during all phases of the trial." Supplementary Guidelines for the Mitigation Function of Defense Team in Death Penalty Cases (2008),
In serving our clients needs Jeff Wax relies on his extensive experience as a mitigation specialist in both pre-trial and post-conviction stages of state and federal capital murder cases.
Atlantic International Associates is a licensed independent investigative organization (Texas DPS # A04131101) and its principal, Jeff Wax, is licensed with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Jeff is available for both court-appointed and retained cases.
We have investigated many state and federal cases in the employ of the government and in private practice. Whether you are taking a private or appointed case, we are with you every step of the way, from intake through trial. We understand the process and the unique issues that attorneys face in criminal defense cases, and we are here to help. We also understand the expense involved in representing criminal defendants. We work within your budget to provide the most efficient and cost-effective investigation.
How does mitigation of punishment fit into the equation in capital defense? Watch the interview of my colleague and fellow mitigation specialist Victoria Rusk during the interview she gave to Houston Public Access Television on April 26, 2018, which is both informative and enlightening.