News Releases ~ 2002

Supreme Court should show courage and address reversal of Rakoff death penalty decision -- Washington, DC (December 10, 2002) -- In response to today's ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which overturned U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff's July decision holding the federal death penalty unconstitutional due to errors in the system that have resulted in more than 100 wrongful death penalty convictions, Lawrence Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Fourth Amendment analysis shortchanged in foreign intelligence court decision -- Washington, DC (Novembe 18, 2002) -- In response to today's ruling in favor of the Justice Department's proposed further expansion of use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, after the court had found multiple abuses by the Justice Department of the previous provisions of the act, Joshua Dratel, co-chair of the Amicus Curiae Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Bar associations sue judges, allege unconstitutional fees for court-appointed attorneys in Wayne County, Michigan -- Washington, DC (November 13, 2002) -- The principal legal groups that represent poor defendants in the Detroit area sued the Chief Judges of the Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday to seek adequate compensation for their services. The suit is one of several reform projects being pursued in trouble spots around the country by the Indigent Defense Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. NACDL is not a named party in the suit, but has been involved in negotiations and recruited pro bono counsel for the suit. More 

NACDL files brief supporting court's decision to limit relaxed searches to foreign intelligence cases --Washington, DC (September 27, 2002) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a brief today asking the appeals court which operates under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to affirm the decision of the lower FISA court that tends to limit the act's relaxed search standard to cases dealing with foreign intelligence. More 

'Prison Fish' to Address National Criminal Defense Bar; Ephraim Margolin to Receive Lifetime Award -- San Francisco, CA (July 31, 2002) The nation's largest criminal defense lawyers' organization begins its annual meeting here today. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will hear from the author of a prison memoir and honor a past president at its board of directors meeting to close the conference on Saturday. More 

Conscious counsel denied chance to represent 'sleeping lawyer' defendant at new trial -- Washington, DC (July 15, 2002) -- Washington, D.C.--On Monday the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will jointly file an emergency appeal with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, Texas, on behalf of Calvin Burdine, the capital defendant whose "sleeping lawyer" case helped awaken the nation to the chronic problem of abysmal legal representation in death penalty cases. More 

Court should tell Bush Administration that law does not support detention of Padilla -- Washington, DC (July 12, 2002) --Saying that the Bush Administration is incorrect in its interpretation of legal issues ranging from venue to the power of the president as commander in chief, state and federal criminal defense bar groups today filed an amicus curiae brief calling on the government to follow the law by giving accused "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla a lawyer and a chance to face his accusers in court. More 

Decision of courageous judge will force higher courts to grapple with irreparable death penalty system -- Washington, DC (July 1, 2002) -- In response to the decision of federal Judge Jed Rakoff today barring execution under the federal death penalty law, Cynthia Orr, co-chair of the Death Penalty Committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Ring decision confirms integral role of jury in death penalty cases -- Washington, DC (June 24, 2002) -- In response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today that states that a judge, sitting without a jury, cannot make a finding allowing for a death sentence, Natman Schaye, co-chair of the death penalty committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

For International Criminal Court, U.S. criminal defense bar wants fairness, even if United States is not a party -- Washington, DC (June 21, 2002) -- Leaders from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers are fighting to make sure defendants in the new International Criminal Court will be treated fairly, no matter what countries are involved. More 

'Consistency of the direction of the change' brings hope for abolition of death penalty -- Washington, DC (June 20, 2002) -- The words with which the U.S. Supreme Court reversed itself, barring execution of the mentally retarded today, have the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers waiting for the logical extension of the ruling. More 

Supreme Court deals setback to Apprendi defendants who didn't object  -- Washington, DC (May 20, 2002) -- In response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision today allowing the sentences of defendants in a drug-conspiracy case to stand even though not all elements of the government's case were found by a jury, Peter Goldberger, vice chair of the Amicus Curiae committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and co-author of their amicus curiae brief in the case, issued the following statement. More 

Hope for domino effect -- Washington, DC (May 9, 2002) -- Citing various recent news items calling into doubt the fairness of the capital punishment system in the United States, Cynthia Orr, co-chair of the Death Penalty Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, expressed hope that the moratorium on imposition of the death penalty announced today by Maryland Governor Parris Glendening will begin a trend of states recognizing flaws in application of the death penalty. More 

NACDL encouraged by recommendations of Illinois capital punishment study -- Washington, DC (April 15, 2002) -- In response to the common-sense recommendations released by the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment today, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Death Penalty Committee Vice-Chair Cynthia Orr released the following statement. More 

NACDL Spring Meeting and Seminar exempted from boycott -- Washington, DC (April 10, 2002) -- Despite the boycott of Cincinnati because of concerns over police treatment of minorities, the civic groups that organized the boycott have made an exception for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which will hold its spring seminar and meeting there May 1-4. The program is titled "Race and Justice on Trial," and features an all-star lineup of speakers from around the nation who will address racial issues in criminal justice. More 

State prison populations level as federal count skyrockets -- Washington, DC (April 10, 2002) -- In response to the release of figures today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showing that the federal prison population increased by 7,372 during the first six months of 2001, its largest six-month growth ever, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Corrections Committee Co-Chair Raag Singhal issued the following statement. More 

NACDL supports innocence legislation -- Washington, DC (April 9, 2002) -- In response to the 100th exoneration yesterday of a death row inmate since reinstatement of the death penalty, Irwin Schwartz, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Congress should change HUD eviction law -- Washington, DC (March 26, 2002) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers announced that it will seek Congressional legislation to remedy the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today in HUD v. Rucker, which allows eviction of innocent public housing tenants for the drug activity of others. More 

'Intellectual dishonesty and statistic manipulation' cited -- Washington, DC (March 20, 2002) -- Echoing the concerns of its Utah affiliate, as well as academics and other civil liberties groups, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has expressed its opposition to the confirmation of University of Utah law professor Paul Cassell as federal district judge in Utah. More 

Report on withheld evidence in McVeigh case raises more questions than it answers -- Washington, DC (March 19, 2002) -- In response to the report issued today by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General regarding the withholding of documents in the Timothy McVeigh case, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Irwin Schwartz issued the following statement. More 

NACDL president to testify before U.S. Sentencing Commission -- Washington, DC (March 18, 2002) -- Testimony to be presented to the United States Sentencing Commission by National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Irwin Schwartz calls crack cocaine sentencing guidelines "egregiously harsh" and cites statistics which show that 93% of crack cocaine defendants are African-American or Hispanic. More 

Yates verdict highlights flawed approach of blame-based criminal justice system -- Washington, DC (March 14, 2002) -- In response to the guilty verdict in the Andrea Yates case in Houston, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Past President Nancy Hollander issued the following statement. More 

Mary Ann Tally receives first NACDL Champion of Indigent Defense award -- Miami, FL (March 1, 2002) -- Mary Ann Tally of Fayetteville, N.C., was named the first recipient of the Champion of Indigent Defense award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at the association's mid-winter meeting here last week. More 

NACDL Second Vice President Scheck plays key role: Press conference to celebrate 100th DNA exoneration at San Diego Innocence Project conference -- San Diego, CA (January 1, 2002) -- Post-conviction DNA-testing advocates from across the country will hold a press conference today at 5 p.m EST/2 p.m PST to announce the 100th exoneration of a prisoner by DNA testing. The press conference kicks off the annual National Innocence Projects Conference at California Western School of Law. More 

'Prison fish' to address national criminal defense bar; Ephraim Margolin to receive lifetime award -- San Francisco -- The nation's largest criminal defense lawyers' organization begins its annual meeting here today. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will hear from the author of a prison memoir and honor a past president at its board of directors meeting to close the conference on Saturday. More 

Another judge sees the light; death penalty should be halted -- Washington, DC -- A second federal judge has declared the federal death penalty statute unconstitutional on different grounds from those cited by the first. National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Lawrence Goldman thinks it is time for a federal moratorium. More 

Courts should oversee deprivations of liberty, and oversight should be more than rubber stamp -- Washington, DC -- In response to concerns voiced by the court designated to hear cases under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that federal law enforcement officials misled the court on at least 75 occasions in requesting wiretaps or other electronic surveillance, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Lawrence Goldman issued the following statement. More 

Criminal defense bar sees hope in federal judge's opinion requiring prosecutors to justify federal death penalty -- Washington, DC -- In response to the opinion issued by Judge Jed Rakoff of the federal district court for the Southern District of New York allowing prosecutors until May 15 to justify seeking the death penalty in light of evidence of numerous death sentences given to innocent persons, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Death Penalty Counsel Chris Adams issued the following statement. More 

Disclosure of detainees is basic to justice process; DOJ's response is unfair to judge -- San Francisco -- The incoming president of the nation's largest criminal defense lawyers' organization hailed the ruling of a federal judge calling for release of the names of terrorism detainees today, and criticized the Justice Department for insinuating that the judge was aiding the enemy in making the ruling. More 

Ephraim Margolin receives Lifetime Achievement Award from nation's top criminal defense bar organization -- Washington, DC --  Ephraim Margolin, a nationally renowned criminal defense attorney practicing in San Francisco, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at their annual meeting in San Francisco in early August. A Life Member of NACDL, Margolin served as the organization's president in 1988-89. More 

International Criminal Court receives support of NACDL Board of Directors -- Washington, DC -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers unanimously passed a resolution on February 23, 2002, calling on the United States to ratify and participate in the Rome Statute which establishes the International Criminal Court (ICC). The court will prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. NACDL's primary concern is to ensure that defendants before the ICC will be represented by qualified and adequately funded counsel. More 

John Wesley Hall, Jr. receives top award from national -- criminal defense bar organization -- Washington, DC -- John Wesley Hall, Jr., a criminal defense attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas, received the twenty-second Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers last week at the NACDL annual meeting in San Francisco. The award is the NACDL's most prestigious award, given annually to the one criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the goals and values of the association and the legal profession. More 

Judge's ruling may signal end to unfair detention -- Washington, DC --In response to last week's ruling by Federal District Judge Shira Scheindlin that the federal material witness statute cannot be applied to grand jury witnesses, Irwin Schwartz, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement. More 

Latest DNA exoneration highlights need for recording of interrogations -- Washington, DC -- As the Innocence Project achieved its 110th DNA-related exoneration, that of Eddie Joe Lloyd in Michigan, who had confessed to a crime he did not commit, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Lawrence Goldman issued the following statement. More 

Withdrawal of ICC signature ends partnerships, chance to influence fairness of international court -- Washington, DC -- Leaving aside criticisms regarding international cooperation, the Bush administration Monday formally renounced its obligations as a signatory to the 1998 Rome Statute to establish an International Criminal Court (ICC). This announcement yesterday to "unsign" the treaty and withdraw the US participation in the ICC cripples the ability of the United States to participate in the development of the Court, says Nancy Hollander, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. More 

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