News Releases ~ 2008

New Administration May Be Responsible for Guantanamo Trials -- Guantanamo Bay, Cuba­ (December 9, 2008) -- In what may well have been the last major hearing during the Bush administration in the case against the five "high-value" Guantánamo detainees accused of coordinating the 9/11 attacks, each defendant began the day-long proceeding on Monday by indicating his desire to confess and plead guilty to all charges. But when the court reconvened after lunch, Mr. Mohammed withdrew his request to plea and his co-defendants immediately followed suit due in large measure to lawyers from the John Adams Project. The project is a partnership between the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Civl Liberties Union that sponsors expert civilian capital trial counsel to assist the under-resourced military defense counsel for several Guantánamo detainees. More 

Military and Civilian Attorneys Challenge the Military Commissions Act in Second Round of Guantánamo Pretrial Motions For 9/11 Detainees -- Washington, DC­ (November 18, 2008) -- For the second time this month, a group of more than 30 military and civilian defense lawyers, assembled by the American Civil Liberties Union and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as part of the John Adams Project, filed several pretrial motions in Guantánamo challenging the constitutionality of the military commission prosecutions. The defense is protesting the legality of these ad hoc tribunals, which may rely on coerced confessions and expressly preclude prisoners from invoking the Geneva Conventions. The John Adams Project is a partnership between the ACLU and the NACDL that sponsors expert civilian counsel to assist the under-resourced military defense counsel for several Guantánamo detainees. More 

Military and Civilian Attorneys Challenge the Military Commissions Act in Second Round of Guantánamo Pretrial Motions For 9/11 Detainees -- Washington, DC­ (November 18, 2008) -- For the second time this month, a group of more than 30 military and civilian defense lawyers, assembled by the American Civil Liberties Union and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as part of the John Adams Project, filed several pretrial motions in Guantánamo challenging the constitutionality of the military commission prosecutions. The defense is protesting the legality of these ad hoc tribunals, which may rely on coerced confessions and expressly preclude prisoners from invoking the Geneva Conventions. The John Adams Project is a partnership between the ACLU and the NACDL that sponsors expert civilian counsel to assist the under-resourced military defense counsel for several Guantánamo detainees. More 

National Criminal Defense Bar Assn. Files Amicus Brief in Appeal of First Stock Options Backdating Conviction -- Washington, DC­ (September 12, 2008) -- Today, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) filed an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the matter of U.S. v. Gregory L. Reyes, No. 0-10047. The brief was prepared pro bono by the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP and seeks to have the conviction of Gregory Reyes, the former CEO of Brocade Communications Inc., vacated and remanded to the trial court with instructions to acquit or, in the alternative, to conduct a new trial. More 

NACDL Hails Legislative Protection for Inadvertently Produced Privileged Material -- Washington, DC­ (September 12, 2008) -- NACDL commends Congress and the federal judiciary for passage of a modified rule of evidence that will continue to protect the attorney-client privilege in cases where privileged material was inadvertently produced. More 

Excessive Defender Caseloads Deprive Citizens of Competent Representation -- Washington, DC­ (September 3, 2008) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), through its indigent defense project, is concerned about the crisis in indigent defense, in Florida and nationwide. NACDL agrees with the Miami-Dade, FL, circuit court's assessment that "the caseload of the felony public defenders in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit . . . far exceeds any recognized standard for the maximum number of felony cases a criminal defense attorney should handle annually." More 

Legislation Still Needed to Protect Privileges, Right to Counsel -- Washington, DC­ (August 28, 2008) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), a leading member of the Coalition to Preserve the Attorney Client-Privilege, appreciates the Justice Department's latest policy recognizing the attorney-client privilege. It is, however, "only a policy – not binding on the Department or U.S. Attorneys in the field, and subject to revision or rescission by the attorney general at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all," NACDL President John Wesley Hall said today. More 

Michael Price Appointed NACDL National Security Coordinator -- Washington, DC­ (August 26, 2008) -- The latest addition to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' professional staff is Michael W. Price, NACDL's first full-time Coordinator for National Security. A recent graduate of New York University School of Law, Michael will be working in the association's national office in Washington, D.C., where his chief responsibilities will be serving as project coordinator for the Guantanamo defense teams (the John Adams Project) and guiding NACDL's efforts to address expansion of government power under the rubric of national security. More 

NACDL President John Wesley Hall Calls Hamdan Case a 'Massive Waste' -- Washington, DC­ (August 6, 2008) – In light of today's verdict in the case of United States v. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, President John Wesley Hall of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers offered the following observations. More 

Criminal Bar Urges Va. to Notify Convicts Of Existence of DNA Evidence in 1973 to 1988 Case Files -- Washington, DC­ (August 5, 2008) – Virginia's forensic laboratory system should notify people convicted during the years 1973 to 1988 that biological evidence in their cases has been found in the laboratory's files that could be suitable for DNA analysis, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) said at its Annual Meeting Aug. 2. The meaning of the Virginia legislature's order to provide exactly that notification, and whether the state should accept the volunteered public service of 200 Virginia lawyers to ensure accurate notification, will be the subject of a public meeting of the Virginia Board of Forensic Science this Wednesday, Aug. 6, in Richmond. The board resolution was adopted unanimously and calls on the state "to proceed without delay to notify each person who was convicted and for whom evidence has been discovered that this evidence exists … and can be tested for DNA." More 

Little Rock Attorney John Wesley Hall to Head National Criminal Defense Bar -- Milwaukee, WI­ (July 31, 2008) -- John Wesley Hall, a Little Rock, Ark., criminal defense attorney, will be sworn in as 50th President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) August 2 at the Association's Annual Meeting in Milwaukee. Hall previously served as NACDL's Secretary, Treasurer, Second and First Vice President and President-Elect, as well as a member of the organization's Board of Directors from 1989-1995 and 1997-2003. More 

Another Guantanamo Prisoner May Face Death Penalty -- Washington, DC­ (June 30, 2008) – The Defense Department announced today that it will seek the death penalty against Guantanamo prisoner Abd Al-Rahim Hussain Mohammed Al-Nashiri. Al-Nashiri is accused of planning and assisting in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen in October 2000. He has not yet been appointed a military defense lawyer. More 

Supreme Court Abolishes Death Penalty for Non-Capital State Crimes, Reaffirms Confrontation Rights -- Washington, DC­ (June 25, 2008) -- The Supreme Court decided two criminal cases today in favor of the petitioner-defendants. NACDL supported the petitioners in both cases with amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs. More 

Supreme Court: Bail Hearing Triggers Right To Lawyer -- Washington, DC­ (June 23, 2008) -- The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two clear victories for justice and due process today, deciding that persons accused of a crime have the right to a lawyer at their initial hearing when faced with the possibility of being held on bond, and in another decision, the right not to have an appeals court increase a defendant's sentence absent an appeal by the prosecution. More 

Rule of Law Rules Again at Guantanamo -- Washington, DC­ (June 12, 2008) -- For the third time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against the Bush Administration's arguments that federal courts have no jurisdiction over persons deemed "unlawful combatants" by U.S. military forces, at Guantanamo and overseas. More 

Should Shareholders Be Punished for Employees' Actions? -- Washington, DC­ (June 6, 2008) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and four other nonprofit organizations filed a "friend of the court" brief today asking a federal appeals court to throw out the criminal convictions of a shipping company for a ship's crew's failure to maintain proper records of "sludge" and "bilge water" discharges on the high seas. More 

Statement of NACDL President Carmen D. Hernandez On Guantanamo Arraignments -- Washington, DC­ (June 5, 2008) -- In light of today's developments at Guantanamo, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers issued the following statement criticizing the military commission arraignments of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Amar al-Baluchi, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Waleed bin Attash. More 

Supreme Court Narrows "Money Laundering" Law -- Washington, DC­ (June 2, 2008) -- In two opinions today, the Supreme Court significantly pared back the reach and scope of the money-laundering statute (18 U.S.C. §1956) and has in the process reinvigorated an old and glorious defense – the rule of lenity. The Court's opinions vindicate the criminal defense bar's long and loud criticisms that money-laundering charges were being "tacked-on" or threatened in order to induce pleas and rack up higher sentences, a lawyer with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) said. More 

Criminal Defense Bar Condemns Pentagon Policy Permitting Warrantless Computer, E-Mail Searches -- Washington, DC­ (June 2, 2008) -- The Defense Department's new policy of requiring military defense counsel to consent to warrantless search and seizure of privileged information on their office computers and peripheral devices was condemned by the Executive Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in a special resolution May 30. The committee is calling on the Secretary of Defense to rescind the directive and revise the policy to prohibit interception and seizure of attorney-client privileged information and attorney work-product, saying that the policy effectively denies military personnel their fundamental right to confidential communications with their lawyers. More 

Military Commission Trials Are an Unnecessary Burden on Justice, Due Process -- Washington, DC­ (May 28, 2008) -- The U.S. federal court system can effectively handle international terrorism cases without threatening national security or endangering public safety, two former federal prosecutors said today. They made their remarks at a news conference held by Human Rights First, which released a comprehensive analysis of over 120 federal terrorism cases prosecuted over the last 15 years. More 

Sept. 11th Defendants Formally Charged While Civilian Counsel Still Await Clearance -- Washington, DC­ (May 13, 2008) -- The Department of Defense announced today that they have charged and referred for trial five "high value" Guantanamo detainees, who are facing death penalty proceedings before military commissions. Yet death penalty-qualified civilian lawyers from the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) remain entangled in bureaucratic red tape. More 

The John Adams Project: Representation of Guantanamo 'High Value' Detainees -- Washington, DC­ (April 3, 2008) – NACDL believes that every accused person has the right to competent defense counsel to prepare a defense. This is no less true for the Guantanamo detainees who face prosecution and possible execution by the U.S. government. In light of the government's stated intention to seek the death penalty against the so-called "high value" detainees, it is critical to America's international reputation that these individuals have access to defense teams with resources that are at least on par with any other federal capital prosecutions. More 

Press Conference, Hearing House Committee to Review Cocaine Disparity -- Washington, DC­ (February 26, 2008) – Representatives of a coalition of citizens, community activists and criminal justice organizations are in Washington to participate in "Crack the Disparity" Lobby Day, which is being held in conjunction with the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security's cocaine sentencing hearing today. The "Hearing on Cracked Justice – Addressing the Unfairness of Cocaine Sentencing" is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn Building Room 2237. In conjunction with that hearing, members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) from around the country are flying in to lobby their representatives and senators in favor of pending legislation which would reduce federal penalties for possession of cocaine base ("crack") and bring them more into line with the penalties for powder cocaine. NACDL is the nation's only bar association devoted exclusively to criminal defense, the fair administration of justice and due process in state and federal courts. More 

Criminal Defense Lawyers Urge Congress To Pass Judicial Pay Raise -- Washington, DC­ (January 14, 2008) -- Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. took up his predecessor's 20-year campaign for better pay for federal judges, calling the lack of adequate judicial compensation "a direct threat to judicial independence." More 

Controversial Chicago Police Line Up Data to Remain Hidden, Plaintiffs to Appeal -- Chicago, IL - A Cook County Circuit Court granted the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) limited access to the data and other materials related to the Chicago Police Department’s controversial report that found that current eyewitness procedures—those that use traditional line ups where all suspects stand in a room together—are more effective than new procedures used in other American cities to reduce errors that can lead to wrongful convictions. More 

2008-09 Officers and Newly Elected Board of Directors Members Sworn in at Annual Meeting -- Washington, DC - NACDL elected and swore in its new Officers and Board of Directors members at its annual conference. More 

 

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