Also in this issue: Liz's work featured in a new book from the ABA, welcoming new staff members, victory at the Supreme Court
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ARC, Inc. seeks to transform the U.S. criminal justice system by providing comprehensive and accurate life history investigation to decision-makers in order to inform the fates of individuals facing the most severe penalties.
Support the work of ARC, Inc.
Left: Presenters Chris Wilson, Liz Vartkessian, and Joanna Visser Adjoian. Top right: Thanks to the University of Baltimore School of Law for hosting us! Bottom right: Danalynn Recer leads a session on the first day of the training.

Baltimore Mitigation Training Series

Thank you to everyone who made the first workshop in the Baltimore Mitigation Training Series such a success! Overall, approximately 100 participants attended the training. Many people came to us from Maryland and Pennsylvania, but others came to us from as far as Missouri, Florida, Alabama, New York, Nevada, and elsewhere from across the country. Attendees included defense attorneys who conduct capital, juvenile, and more general defense work. They also included long-time mitigation specialists and those just starting out in the field.

Everyone who gave us feedback reported learning something new and something that they will be able to use in their work going forward. Participants expressed a significant desire for further training on ways practitioners can use these techniques to better serve their clients, so we expect to begin planning another, more advanced training for later this year.

Mitigation has the potential to make our system more just, both for our clients and for the countless communities that have been so damaged by the effects of mass incarceration. Hosting this training is a significant step for ARC, Inc. as we seek to engage more practitioners across the country in this work.
Rachel and Khouloud! 

ARC, Inc. is welcoming two new staff members: Rachel Johnson, our new Juvenile Justice Coordinator, and Khouloud Morkoc, our new Record Collection Specialist. 

Rachel comes to us following a legal fellowship with Open City Advocates. She has her bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her law degree from American University.

Khouloud recently completed an internship with the Public Defender Service for Washington, DC. She has her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Marymount University.

You can read more about each of them here. Welcome to the team, Rachel and Khouloud!

You can check out Liz's work in the upcoming book from the American Bar Association: Tell the Client's Story: Mitigation in Criminal and Death Penalty Cases.

Liz's chapter, "Setting the Stage and Listening to What Jurors Have to Tell Us About Mitigation," was co-authored with Drs. Marla Sandys, Heather Pruss, & Sara M. Walsh. You can view the full table of contents here. Tell the Client's Story will be released on April 1, and is available for pre-order from the American Bar Association now.
Supreme Court victory for
Board member Christina Swarns

Congratulations to ARC, Inc. board member and NAACP Legal Defense Fund attorney Christina Swarns on her victory in the Supreme Court case Buck v. Davis. Mr. Buck had been sentenced to die based on testimony that he was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is black. Thanks to the dedication of attorneys from the Legal Defense Fund, the Texas Defender Service (including ARC, Inc. Board chair Jim Marcus), and others, he will now have the opportunity for resentencing.

"[T]his is a disturbing departure from a basic premise of our criminal justice system: Our law punishes people for what they do, not who they are."
- Chief Justice Roberts, for the majority in Buck v. Davis
Like ARC, Inc.'s work? Learn more, spread the word, or get in touch! 
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