For those defendants who are facing decades-long sentences, life sentences and the ultimate punishment handed down by the courts, mitigation can be the difference between ever living or even dying as a free person.
If your life or lifetime hangs in the balance, you and your attorney can delve into any mitigating circumstances that could potentially give you some hope. Let’s explore this further.
Prosecutors use aggravating circumstances to convict
Prosecuting attorneys harangue about aggravating factors that call for the worst consequences possible for hapless defendants. That makes it easier for jurors to dehumanize the men and women sitting at defense tables, often engaged in battles over their very existence.
It doesn’t even have to be a death penalty or life without parole case for mitigating factors to matter a great deal to juries and judges.
Mitigating factors influence jurors to be lenient
During voir dire, Texas prosecutors try to weed out any potential juror who could sympathize with the position the defendant was in when they allegedly committed the offense. But no matter how hard they try, sympathetic jurors still exist.
Suppose you are accused of driving drunk and allegedly killed someone in a wreck as a result. Although you have never been much of a drinker, you just learned your mother was diagnosed with cancer right after you got handed a pink slip at work. You stopped at a bar, and the rest is allegedly tragic history.
Presented properly (and absent any prior legal pitfalls), those mitigating circumstances could make the difference between a very long stint in prison or time served at the county jail and an ankle monitor.