Last night, members of the Bay Area death penalty community gathered to honor the late Scharlette Holdman, a woman who, as SF attorney Andy Love said, “forever changed not just the way death penalty cases were litigated but for those lucky to work with and be mentored by her, how to confront injustice in all its forms. . . .”

The celebration of Scharlette’s extraordinary life and work, sponsored by DPF, and hosted by the California Appellate Project, brought together many of the men and women who were trained by, inspired by, and devoted to a woman who really refined and elevated the role of mitigation specialists in criminal trials.

Scharlette died in July, but speakers that included DPF President Mike Farrell, CAP ED Joe Schlesinger, DPF board member and death penalty attorney Aundre Herron, State Public Defender Jeannie Sternberg, and DPIC’s first director Michael Kroll, brought her vividly to life for a few hours last night, recalling a woman whose skill, intelligence, wit, irreverence, and deep compassion made her an iconic and beloved figure, one who will be remembered and revered for years to come.

To read more about the remarkable life and times of Scharlette Holdman (and you should because “we won’t see the likes of her again”), read Andy Love’s tribute, as well as another noteworthy piece in the Marshall Project.

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