Buy Sentencing Narratives Course
- Do you know exactly what you should (and should not say) in your personal letter/narrative to your sentencing Judge?
- What does your prosecutor think of you as a human being?
- Does your personal narrative address the four sentencing elements Judges want to hear?
- What are you doing to show the judge you’re more than your crime and worthy of mercy?
- Do you know how to identify with your victims?
Our team helps people prepare for the probation interview and sentencing. We can help you. Since 2008, we’ve worked to restore confidence for more than 1,000 people before they prepared for sentencing. All of our training is premised on what we’ve learned by interacting with sentencing judges, prosecutors, probation officers, and defense attorneys practicing in federal, state, and municipal proceedings.
THEY INADVERTENTLY EXCUSE THEIR CONDUCT
In our experience, too many defendants inadvertently excuse, blame or rationalize away their conduct in their narrative. They don’t know that doing so can actually make things worse.
THEY LACK THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE
In one of my books, Lessons from Prison, I described my experience:
“When I was a defendant, I simply had no idea what to say. I said something along the lines of: ‘I’m sorry for my actions. I accept responsibility.’ In the end, I gave Judge Wilson two pages of boilerplate language that my expensive lawyers wrote. In retrospect, I could have done better. Nothing in that letter we submitted influenced the sentence my judge inflicted.”
Succeeding through sentencing and beyond requires an honest assessment of our capabilities. Writing the proper narrative isn’t something you can just “knock out” in one sitting. The process involves tons of trial and error. Our experience of learning from both judges and other stakeholders can help you.
THEY HATE WRITING
We work with many people that do not like to write. They struggle to create a compelling, first-person narrative.
THEY DON’T HAVE TIME
As a defendant, your time is probably stretched thin enough. Do you really have 50-100 hours to devote to this personal narrative? Probably not. Worse still, even if you devote the time, you have no assurance your message is on track.
THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVES OF THE STAKEHOLDERS—WHO ARE THEY?
Prosecutors: They score victories with convictions and long sentences. Expect prosecutors to highlight the criminal charge and the negative characteristics that lead to criminal behavior. Expect prosecutors to say that a defendant is only saying he is sorry because he got caught.
Probation Officer: Probation officers will prepare the presentence investigation report (PSR), and it will parrot the prosecutor’s version of events. Unless a person adheres to the 4 steps we teach in our Sentencing Prep course (Pay particularly close attention to step 2), the person should expect a PSR that favors the prosecution’s argument for a severe sentence.
Sentencing Judge: Most sentencing judges previously served as prosecutors. Their experience may influence their perceptions of defendants. Our Sentencing Prep course teaches participants how to differentiate themselves from other defendants that have been convicted.
Defense Attorney: Defense attorneys are great analytical thinkers. They focus on the law, the evidence, and disproving the prosecutor’s case. That does not always make them great listeners, and they may or may not take time to truly learn why a person is worthy of mercy at sentencing.
Prison Administrators: Staff members will classify people that have been sanctioned to serve time. They will rely upon the PSR and the Judgment order, without knowing any specifics about the individual. If a person wants to influence those decisions, they should work carefully to craft their personal narrative.
Who are We and Why Can We Help You?
My name is Justin Paperny. I was once in your shoes. Bad choices I made in the investigative stage led to a longer prison term. It also led to more pain for those that supported me.
Michael and I have been working together since we met in prison in 2008. Together we created a plan that would help more people emerge successfully from prison. That plan starts with preparing properly for sentencing.
Over the last 11 years we’ve restored confidence for thousands of people exposed to a sentencing proceeding. By giving them a plan, they could work more effectively to position themselves for leniency. Based on what judges and probation officers have told our clients, we know that our team has helped many people get shorter sentences.
Our work has also given us the opportunity to work with sentencing Judges. They’ve told us what they would like to see—before sentencing—from a person convicted of a crime.