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NACDL encourages counsel not to abdicate their responsibility to provide effective representation to their clients and to continue to make a full record of work that cannot be achieved during the pandemic. NACDL supports its members and others who adhere to fundamental capital practice standards during this pandemic and refuse to undertake substandard in-person work.
Amicus curiae brief of the Child Welfare League of America, the Juvenile Law Center, and NACDL in support of petitioners.
Argument: Evidence of an adverse childhood or adolescence – including evidence of child abuse, neglect, domestic violence and mental illness – is relevant evidence during the penalty phase of a capital case. The link between the harm cause by childhood trauma and subsequent antisocial or criminal behavior is reflected in state and federal laws, and jurors must be allowed to consider the relevance of the defendant’s victimization as a youth.