Position title: Senior Instructional Specialist, CLSJ
Kiara Hibler is a Mitigation Specialist who graduated from UW-Madison with a Legal Studies degree and Criminal Justice certificate. Following her internship at the local State Public Defender’s Office- Investigations Unit, she was formally mentored in death penalty mitigation for several years. With her mentor’s encouragement and support, Kiara eventually established her own mitigation practice and has since been working primarily on state and federal capital cases. On capital cases, a mitigation specialist is a core member of the defense team and works closely with the attorneys and fact investigator on the case. The mitigation specialist is responsible for thoroughly investigating the life history of the defendant. They regularly meet with the client, interview numerous persons, gather records, research relevant cultural and social issues, and ultimately produce a narrative of that life history. Kiara also recently began working on cases of inmates who had been sentenced as juveniles to life without parole (JLWOP) and who, in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, have the opportunity for re-sentencing hearings. Additionally, she is trained in Defense-Victim Outreach (DVO). Prior to work in this field, Kiara worked in public education supporting bilingual and at-risk students and their families. Since 2018, Kiara has been a field instructor for the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice internship program and really enjoys working with students as they explore their academic and career goals.