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Working with Families in Capital Cases

Capital defenders and their clients’ family members typically want the same thing: to prevent an execution. But despite this obvious shared goal, the relationship between attorneys and clients’ family members can be challenging -- for example, when family members are reluctant to give information about the family history that would help with mitigation, are impatient or angry, or propose public actions that the attorneys believe would be harmful to the case. How can understanding the ways in which trauma and disenfranchised grief manifest in death row families inform and guide our interactions with clients’ families? How can we use this understanding to develop useful strategies for navigating these relationships?

  • October 31, 2023
  • 1:00 pm EDT
  • Susannah Sheffer


  • Free Admission

Presenter's Bio

Presenter Susannah Sheffer, LMHC, is the author of the book Fighting for Their Lives: Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys and director of Texas After Violence’s Access to Treatment Initiative, which provides training to the mental health community in working with family members of individuals who have been sentenced to death or executed.

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