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JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Mitigation Specialist

Thursday, December 29, 2005

  • ACLU Capital Punishment Project

December 28, 2005


Mitigation Specialist


ACLU Capital Punishment Project

The newly expanded Capital Punishment Project of the American Civil Liberties Union invites applications for a Mitigation Specialist to work in the Project's Durham, North Carolina office. The Specialist will work under the supervision of the Director of the Capital Punishment Project.


Through a nationwide program of strategic litigation and public advocacy, the Project focuses on the unfairness and arbitrariness of capital punishment while working toward its ultimate goal of abolishing the death penalty. The Project's litigation is conducted throughout the country, with particular focus on the South.


The Mitigation Specialist is responsible for investigating and analyzing relevant mitigation evidence for both trials and post-conviction proceedings in capital cases. In addition, the Mitigation Specialist is responsible for preparing comprehensive social histories of capital defendants through client interviews, collateral interviews with multi-generational family members and others, and the collection and evaluation of life history records (school, hospital, child welfare agencies, etc.). S/he will also network with other mental health experts.


  • Equivalent combination of the following education and experience is required: B.S.W. or comparable degree in a related field and a minimum of 4 years experience as a mitigation specialist; M.S.W. or comparable degree in a related field and 2 years experience as mitigation specialist; or equivalent years of experience in capital cases.
  • Extensive experience in research and fact gathering.
  • Excellent writing and communications skills, both written and verbal, are required.
  • The individual must have substantial familiarity with all of the following: (1) with the law governing mitigation evidence in capital cases; (2) with the psychological, behavioral and neurological diseases and disorders set forth in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; and (3) with the protocols for interviewing family members, relative, friends, neighbors, teachers, employers and other potential mitigation witnesses to obtain information regarding the capital defendant's life story relevant to statutory and nonstatutory mitigating factors.
  • Ability to work as part of the defense team in a client-centered practice, and maintain the confidentiality of all information obtained while working on the case.
  • Experience with Internet research and strong computer skills with programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to travel throughout the country.


Salary commensurate with experience, within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale. An excellent benefits package is provided.


Please send a letter of interest, a current resume, the names, telephone numbers and addresses of three work-related references, and a relevant writing sample to:

American Civil Liberties Union

Human Resources Department

Attn: [CPP-09]

125 Broad Street, 18th Floor

New York, NY 10004


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, which will not be before January 27, 2006.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you found this job posting.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name "ACLU."

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