Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Publisher

SAGE

Source Publication

Law, Culture and the Humanities

Source ISSN

1743-8721

Abstract

This article has two goals. First, I demonstrate the challenges that “humanization” poses for the defense as an ideal of sentencing mitigation in U.S. capital trials. Capital case procedure largely neutralizes the sympathetic effects of humanization with jurors. In addition, potential mitigation witnesses inhabit affective environs that undermine any inclination to help the defense through sympathetic testimony. Second, I explain how defense advocacy responds to humanization’s challenges. Practitioners adopt an investigative mindset that focuses on forging the conditions to cultivate relationships with mitigation witnesses. This intensive affective labor translates back into the realm of procedure through strategic maneuvers intended to avoid trial and the performance of humanization.

Comments

Accepted version. Law, Culture and the Humanities (2020). Online before print. DOI. © 2020 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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