Chapter Meeting: Editing Fiction for Content & Being a Mitigation Attorney and Saving Someone from the Death Penalty

Quarterly Chapter Meeting/Event: June 11, 2022

Lone Tree Library, 10055 Library Way, Lone Tree, Colorado 80124 (303-791-READ)

Also Via Zoom; (Information on how to join the presentation will be posted in the Sisters in Crime-Colorado members listserv.)

Please note: Chapter meetings are a member only benefit. You can learn more about us and our chapter here:

To request more information, please use our contact form:


9:30 am – 10:00 am
Welcome, Announcements

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
How to Edit Your Own Story – Carly Stevens

Editing means more than fixing commas or hiring a professional. Before all of that, you are alone with your story. So, how do you improve it? There are plenty of guides for revising nonfiction, but what about fiction? This class will give you a plethora of practical tips on how anyone, regardless of experience, can improve their own work. From plot to character, scene structure to style, you’ll walk away feeling confident that you can make your story shine!

12:00pm – 1:00 pm
Lunch (brown bag or visit nearby restaurants)

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Being a Mitigation Attorney and Saving Someone from the Death Penalty – Brooke Terpening

“Death is different.” That’s what the Supreme Court stated when it recognized the irrevocable nature of a death sentence. There are no do-overs.  Some view the death penalty as fitting justice, others as a deterrent, and still others as a barbaric form of punishment.  No matter what your personal beliefs are, the reality is that the system isn’t perfect. For every 8.3 peo­ple exe­cut­ed in the Unit­ed States in the mod­ern era of the death penal­ty, one per­son on death row has been exon­er­at­ed. The uncomfortable truth is that proportionally more Blacks are sentenced to death than Whites, and the poor disproportionately receive harsher sentences.

To offset these inequities, a mitigation specialist fulfills the constitutional mandate for individualized sentencing in capital cases.  The mitigation specialist is an indispensable but little-known member of the defense team with the skills to recognize mitigating factors in the defendant’s life and to understand how these conditions may have affected the defendant’s development and behavior. Most importantly, the mitigation specialist must present this evidence during sentencing to enable jurors to see the convicted without any preconceived biases of race, gender, or cultural differences. Put another way, a mitigation specialist humanizes the hated.

Please feel free to come to either the morning or afternoon session if you cannot attend both.

Please note: Chapter meetings are a member only benefit. You can learn more about us and our chapter here:

To request more information, please use our contact form:

Please RSVP at our Meetup Page:

The Zoom login information will be posted in the chapter’s listserv.

About the Presenters:

Carly Stevens photoCarly Stevens lives and writes in beautiful Colorado Springs where she has taught high-school English for over ten years. Several years ago, she decided to make her childhood dream come true by becoming an author. Since 2019, she has published three novels, four short reads, and a book of short stories. She primarily writes adventure-filled YA fantasy novels, but she’s currently working on a dark Shakespeare retelling set in the 1920’s. A huge Star Wars and Shakespeare fan, she posts weekly videos to her YouTube channel (appropriately called English Nerd) which tackles topics in literature and all kinds of writing.


Brooke Terpening bio photo

After nearly thirty years as a software developer and engineering director at startups in Silicon Valley and Silicon Mountain, Brooke Terpening went to law school to become a patent attorney. Law school is where she discovered a talent for writing, a talent which propelled her to first in her class.

While studying for the USPTO bar exam, a classmate introduced her to one of Florida’s top defense attorneys. She became immersed in defending death penalty cases. The next five years took her inside the workings of Florida’s criminal justice system. The cases were sometimes frightening and always heartbreaking. The attorneys and mitigation specialists who did the thankless job of defending accused killers were among the most dedicated professionals she’d ever met. Today she lives in Colorado and draws on her experiences to write legal thrillers and crime fiction.

This event is funded and presented by Sisters in Crime-Colorado and is not sponsored by Douglas County Libraries.

To request more information, please use our contact form.