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Defending the Rights of the Accused: Heeney Award Winner Jeffrey Fisher
By Quintin Chatman
Law professor Jeffrey L. Fisher said it was a big surprise when he won
the Heeney Award at the Annual Meeting in Milwaukee on Aug. 2. Based on
the deafening cheers and applause that erupted after the announcement,
it is safe to say everyone in the room believed the right person had
The Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award, named in honor of NACDL’s 18th
president, is given annually to the criminal defense attorney who best
exemplifies the goals and values of the Association.
Fisher, a professor at Stanford Law School, has argued several notable
cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was counsel of record and argued
Blakely v. Washington and Crawford v. Washington. The Court held in
Blakely that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial applies to
sentencing guidelines. Where the admission of testimonial statements is
at issue, Crawford held that only actual confrontation of the witness
satisfies the Constitution.
Did Fisher choose a career in the l
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