News Release ~ 04/29/2014

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Deplores Political Attacks on the Criminal Defense Function

Washington, DC (April 29, 2014) – While the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) does not endorse or oppose any political candidates, NACDL does strongly deplore attacks on any attorney, including political candidates representing any political party or ideology, arising out of the attorney’s representation of clients in criminal matters. Most recently, this disgraceful line of attack has reared its head in the South Carolina gubernatorial race. There, reported statements by current Gov. Nikki Haley and South Carolina GOP Chairman Matt Moore, and now a second round of television advertisements sponsored by the Republican Governors Association, do precisely that.

NACDL President Jerry J. Cox said: "The idea of attacking someone simply for fulfilling the mandate of the United States Constitution to provide every accused person with a defense attorney is inconsistent with the nation's fundamental values. The founders of this nation recognized that no person should ever stand alone when the government seeks to condemn, imprison, or kill a person. To suggest that one's qualifications for office are diminished for having lived up to the ideal of the right to counsel is an ill-conceived line of attack."

Contact Information

Isaac Kramer, Public Affairs and Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7656 or ikramer@nacdl.org

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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