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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

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Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages (10,000+). The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - Sept. 29, 2021 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 10944
Date: 2021-06-16

Author:Ronda Swenson

Subject:Re: high ACES score and mitigation in criminal sentencing

I work as a criminal defense Mitigation Specialist and in every case we use childhood trauma, adolescent brain development, Aces & adverse community experiences to mitigate sentences especially for those who committed a crime before the age of 26. I only work juvenile & adult serious felonies and capital cases and majority of my clients have almost every ace. Ronda Ronda Swenson M.A. Criminal Defense Mitigation Specialist Forensic Social Work Certification -NOFSW Juvenile Dependency Social Worker/Investigator 209-556-2054 Rondaswenson.com On Jun 15, 2021, at 1:27 PM, Emma Hetherington wrote:  I did a quick search and there are cases that specifically refer to ACEs. I have attached one to this message from last year. I think the short answer is whether ACEs are used as a mitigating factor for sentencing will depend on the defense attorney and whether they are familiar with ACEs and then bring in an expert to testify at the sentencing stage. I wouldn't be surprised if there are cases scattered across the country where ACEs are specifically used. I asked colleagues who are experts in criminal law for their thoughts, as well. I'll let you know when I hear back. Emma Professor Emma Hetherington Assistant Clinical Professor and Director Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic University of Georgia School of Law p. 706-369-5720 f. 706-369-5794 ehether@uga.edu Confidentiality Notice: This message may be sent by or on behalf of a lawyer. It is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged, or confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it, including attachments. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete all copies of the message. ________________________________ From: bounce-125714175-80464251@list.cornell.edu on behalf of Frank Vandervort Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 1:44 PM To: Child Maltreatment Researcher List (CMRL) Subject: Re: high ACES score and mitigation in criminal sentencing [EXTERNAL SENDER - PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY] Hi Lisa, There is a long history, and many cases, that discuss problematic childhood experiences as a mitigating factor at sentencing, Most of these cases do not use the term "adverse childhood experiences," but apply the concept. The leading case is, perhaps, Miller v Alabama (slip opinion attached), in with the United States Supreme Court ruled that a juvenile who commits homicide cannot automatically sentenced to life without parole. Again, Miller does not discuss ACES per se, but it requires the court to look at issues such as trauma from things like child maltreatment in sentencing. Miller was preceded by two important cases, Graham v Florida (which held that a juvenile cannot be sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide offense) (link here:https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-7412.ZO.html) and Roper v Simmons (which held the death penalty unconstitutional as applied to a juvenile even for a henious murder) (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-633.ZS.html). All three cases focus of normative adolescent development, but Miller speaks explicitly to traumatic experiences in childhood. Another place to look is death penalty cases There has been a long history of looking at childhood malteratment and trauma as a mitigating factor. I hope this helps. If you have other questions, I'm happy to help. Take care, Frank Vandervort On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:32 AM Lisa Fontes > wrote: Dear Colleagues, Are any of you familiar with legal cases in which a high ACES score has been used to argue for a more lenient sentence for someone who has committed a serious crime? I would be interested in anything and everything related to this topic. Feel free to write me privately at: LFontes@rcn.com Many thanks, Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer II University of Massachusetts Amherst -- Frank E. Vandervort Clinical Professor of Law University of Michigan Law School 701 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (734) 647-3168

I work as a criminal defense Mitigation Specialist and in every case we use childhood trauma, adolescent brain development, Aces & adverse community experiences to mitigate sentences especially for those who committed a crime before the age of 26. I only work juvenile & adult serious felonies and capital cases and majority of my clients have almost every ace. Ronda Ronda Swenson M.A. Criminal Defense Mitigation Specialist Forensic Social Work Certification -NOFSW Juvenile Dependency Social Worker/Investigator 209-556-2054 Rondaswenson.com On Jun 15, 2021, at 1:27 PM, Emma Hetherington wrote:  I did a quick search and there are cases that specifically refer to ACEs. I have attached one to this message from last year. I think the short answer is whether ACEs are used as a mitigating factor for sentencing will depend on the defense attorney and whether they are familiar with ACEs and then bring in an expert to testify at the sentencing stage. I wouldn't be surprised if there are cases scattered across the country where ACEs are specifically used. I asked colleagues who are experts in criminal law for their thoughts, as well. I'll let you know when I hear back. Emma Professor Emma Hetherington Assistant Clinical Professor and Director Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic University of Georgia School of Law p. 706-369-5720 f. 706-369-5794 ehetheruga.edu Confidentiality Notice: This message may be sent by or on behalf of a lawyer. It is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged, or confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it, including attachments. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete all copies of the message. ________________________________ From: bounce-125714175-80464251list.cornell.edu on behalf of Frank Vandervort Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 1:44 PM To: Child Maltreatment Researcher List (CMRL) Subject: Re: high ACES score and mitigation in criminal sentencing [EXTERNAL SENDER - PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY] Hi Lisa, There is a long history, and many cases, that discuss problematic childhood experiences as a mitigating factor at sentencing, Most of these cases do not use the term "adverse childhood experiences," but apply the concept. The leading case is, perhaps, Miller v Alabama (slip opinion attached), in with the United States Supreme Court ruled that a juvenile who commits homicide cannot automatically sentenced to life without parole. Again, Miller does not discuss ACES per se, but it requires the court to look at issues such as trauma from things like child maltreatment in sentencing. Miller was preceded by two important cases, Graham v Florida (which held that a juvenile cannot be sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide offense) (link here:https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-7412.ZO.html) and Roper v Simmons (which held the death penalty unconstitutional as applied to a juvenile even for a henious murder) (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-633.ZS.html). All three cases focus of normative adolescent development, but Miller speaks explicitly to traumatic experiences in childhood. Another place to look is death penalty cases There has been a long history of looking at childhood malteratment and trauma as a mitigating factor. I hope this helps. If you have other questions, I'm happy to help. Take care, Frank Vandervort On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:32 AM Lisa Fontes > wrote: Dear Colleagues, Are any of you familiar with legal cases in which a high ACES score has been used to argue for a more lenient sentence for someone who has committed a serious crime? I would be interested in anything and everything related to this topic. Feel free to write me privately at: LFontesrcn.com Many thanks, Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer II University of Massachusetts Amherst -- Frank E. Vandervort Clinical Professor of Law University of Michigan Law School 701 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (734) 647-3168