News Releases ~ 2012

News Release ~ 11/30/2012
Criminal Defense Bar Announces 2012-13 Student Diversity Essay Competition and Diversity Summer Fellowship Program -- Washington, DC (November 30, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is pleased to announce its annual Diversity Task Force Student Essay Competition and Diversity Summer Fellowship Program. Read More

News Release ~ 11/29/2012
NACDL Applauds Senate Judiciary Committee’s Passage of Warrant Requirement for Email -- Washington, DC (November 29, 2012) – Earlier today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee adopted H.R. 2471 with Senator Patrick Leahy’s undiluted amendment requiring a warrant for law enforcement to access electronic communications stored by a third-party provider. NACDL has worked, and will continue to work, tirelessly to make this requirement the law of the land. Read More

News Release ~ 11/27/2012
Former Prosecutors and Judges Join Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar to Support a Warrant Requirement for Law Enforcement Access to Email -- Washington, DC (November 27, 2012) – In a letter to Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley, the Chair and Ranking Member respectively of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, 30 former prosecutors and judges weighed in on November 21 in support of Senator Leahy’s amendment to H.R. 2471. As explained in the letter, this amendment “would provide for a much needed judicial check on when the government can access our private digital information.” Currently, and shockingly to many Americans, there is no warrant requirement for the government to access electronic communications stored by a third-party provider so long as the communication is more than 180 days old. This amendment simply puts electronic communications on the same constitutional footing as private communications sent via the U.S. Postal Service, for example. Read More

News Release ~ 11/14/2012
DOJ and SEC Issue Non-Binding 'Guidance' on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement -- Washington, DC (Nov. 14, 2012) – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission issued long-expected guidance concerning the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ FCPA experts are still in the process of reviewing the 120-page Guide, but have already observed that it appears to provide some additional, important guidance on the government’s interpretation of this law. Read More

News Release ~ 11/09/2012
Longtime NACDL Member Sheryl Gordon McCloud Elected to Supreme Court of Washington State -- Washington, DC (November 9, 2012)  – Washington appellate attorney Sheryl Gordon McCloud was elected on Tuesday to a six-year term as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington. Ms. Gordon McCloud, who has been a public defender, a law professor at Seattle University School of Law and most recently an attorney in private practice, has been a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) since 1990, and has served as a Vice Chair of NACDL’s Amicus Committee and as Chair of NACDL’s then State Constitutional Law Committee. In addition, Ms. Gordon McCloud served as Vice President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL), NACDL’s Washington affiliate, which also recognized her work with its President’s Award for Distinguished Service. Read More

News Release ~ 11/06/2012
Miami Attorney Susan K. Bozorgi Elected to Board of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -- Washington, DC (Nov. 6, 2012) – Susan K. Bozorgi was elected and sworn in as a member of the NACDL Board of Directors at its fall Board Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 27, 2012. Read More

News Release ~ 10/26/2012
NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin Honored As a Virginia 'Leader in the Law' -- Washington, DC (October 26, 2012) – Last night at a reception at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Steven D. Benjamin, President of the National Association of the Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) was celebrated as a Virginia "Leader in the Law." Through this award, Virginia Lawyers Media, publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, "recognizes the lawyers across the commonwealth who are setting the standard for other lawyers in Virginia....for changing the law, serving the community, changing practice or improving Virginia’s justice system." Read More

News Release ~ 10/24/2012
NACDL Launches Publicly Available Restoration of Rights Database - Washington, DC (October 24, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is pleased to offer as both a resource for its members and as a service to the general public, a collection of individual downloadable documents that profile the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction relating to relief from the numerous civil rights and other consequences of criminal conviction. NACDL today launches this new section of its online Resource Center to house NACDL member and former U.S. Pardon Attorney (1990-97) Margaret Colgate Love’s comprehensive work on this topic in a user-friendly format. It promises to be an indispensable guide for defense lawyers as well as members of the public affected by the collateral consequences of a conviction and those re-entering society or the workforce after a conviction. Read More

News Release ~ 10/16/2012
Flawed and Unjust Guantanamo Military Commissions Exposed Again - Washington, DC (October 16, 2012) – A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today overturned the conviction for material support for terrorism of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a driver for Osama bin Laden. As explained by the Court, “[b]ecause we read the Military Commissions Act not to retroactively punish new crimes, and because material support for terrorism was not a pre-existing war crime under 10 U.S.C. § 821, Hamdan’s conviction for material support for terrorism cannot stand.” And this is certainly not the first time a federal appellate court has had to remind the military that there are constitutional limits to its legal authority, even at Guantanamo. Read More

News Release ~ 10/10/2012a
Ivan J. Dominguez Appointed Communications Director of Nation's Criminal Defense Bar -- Washington, DC (October 10, 2012) – Today, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is pleased to announce that Ivan J. Dominguez has been appointed as NACDL's new Director of Public Affairs and Communications. Ivan succeeds Jack King who served NACDL with distinction in that position for the past nine years. Since joining NACDL's Public Affairs and Communications Department, Ivan Dominguez has helped maximize NACDL's communications strategies through myriad innovations that have harnessed cutting-edge technologies and social media. During that time, he has supported every aspect of NACDL's public messaging and provided robust support for NACDL's white collar crime initiative. Read More

News Release ~ 10/10/2012
New Appointments at Nation's Criminal Defense Bar -- Washington, DC (October 10, 2012) – As the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) begins its 2012 -13 fiscal year, a number of important appointments have been announced. Read More

News Release ~ 10/01/2012
October 23 NACDL Event at the National Press Club -- Entrusting the Fourth Amendment to the Dogs: Canine Evidence and the Constitution -- Washington, DC (October 1, 2012) – What: Please join the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and a panel of privacy and Fourth Amendment experts as we discuss the implications of two cases to be argued before the Supreme Court on October 31, 2012, challenging law enforcement use of drug detection dogs. The discussion will be followed by a live demonstration with a handler and a trained drug sniffing dog. Florida v. Jardines and Florida v. Harris raise fundamental privacy questions about the true sanctity of one’s home and law enforcement’s use of enhanced searching technologies. Whether travelling through public airports, Amtrak train stations, subway stations, or simply walking down the street, each of us is subject to law enforcement using a dog to sniff our person and our belongings. These cases will have a substantial effect on the way law enforcement can use dogs and other technologies to conduct searches in the future. Read More

News Release ~ 09/27/2012
Dog Sniffs and the Fourth Amendment at the Supreme Court Early This Term -- Washington, DC (September 27, 2012) – On October 31, 2012, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two important personal privacy cases concerning drug dogs and the Fourth Amendment. Both cases come to the U.S. Supreme Court from the Supreme Court of the State of Florida. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) filed joint amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs in both cases. These cases have significant implications for individuals’ privacy rights in their homes and the future use of technologically enhanced searching devices by law enforcement. The impact of these cases has been addressed in a two-part podcast produced by NACDL, and will be further addressed in a live, free event on October 23, 2012. Details are below. NACDL’s experts are available for comment and can be reached by contacting NACDL’s Public Affairs Office. Read More

News Release ~ 09/14/2012
Long-Suppressed Evidence Will Be Key to Jeffrey MacDonald’s Day in Court - Washington, DC (Sept. 14, 2012) – After spending the past 33 years in  prison resulting from an unfair trial and a wrongful conviction, former Army  Captain and medical doctor Jeffrey R. MacDonald is scheduled to get a  meaningful day in court on Monday. The date is fortuitous, yet auspicious –  September 17 is Constitution Day, commemorating the date that the Constitution  was signed in Philadelphia 225 years ago. Read More

News Release ~ 09/06/2012
Court: Guantanamo Detainees Retain Right to Legal Counsel -- Washington, DC (Sept. 6, 2012) – Today Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order upholding Guantanamo detainees’ access to counsel. The order directly addresses and rejects each argument made by the Government in its attempt to weaken the detainees’ constitutional right to seek review of the legality of their detention. Read More

News Release ~ 08/20/2012
DOJ Needs to Consider Its Full Impact on System, Say Public Defenders and Private Criminal Defense Lawyers -- Washington,  DC (Aug. 20, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal  Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) Section  of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association have issued a joint  resolution calling on legislators and criminal justice policy-makers to prepare  “justice system impact statements” for any proposed legislation or policy  change that impacts federal, state or local criminal justice systems. The joint  resolution released today proposes that the U.S. Department of Justice, which  already distributes substantial funding to local police and prosecutors, fund  such studies through its criminal justice grant programs. Read More

News Release ~ 08/17/2012
New Attack on Counsel Access at GTMO to Be Heard Friday -- Washington, DC (Aug. 17, 2012) – In the latest attack on attorney-client relationships at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. Department of Justice now takes the position that Guantanamo detainees whose habeas corpus cases have been terminated no longer have the right of access to their lawyers and vice versa. Under a new “memorandum of understanding,” attorney-client visits and communications are permitted at the sole discretion of the Commander, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo. Read More

News Release ~ 08/16/2012
Cal. Supreme Court Holds 110-Year Sentence For Juvenile Defendant Was ‘Cruel and Unusual’ -- Washington, DC (Aug. 16, 2012) – The California Supreme Court today held today that sentencing a juvenile to imprisonment – a term of years – with a parole eligibility date that falls past his natural life expectancy violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Graham v. Florida, which prohibited sentencing juveniles to life without parole for non-homicide convictions, the California court unanimously agreed that Rodrigo Caballero’s sentence of 110 years to life for three attempted murders with bodily injury deprived him of “a meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.” Read More

News Release ~ 07/31/2012b
2012-13 Officers and Newly Elected Board of Directors Members Sworn in at Annual Meeting -- Washington, DC ­ (July 31, 2012) -- NACDL elected and swore in its new Officers and Directors at its Annual Board and Membership Meeting in San Francisco, California, on July 28, 2012. California attorney, NACDL Life Member and now NACDL Parliamentarian Vicki Young was awarded the 32st annual Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award. The Heeney Award is given annually to the member who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), was awarded NACDL’s Champion of Justice Award. And Connecticut attorney Jennifer L. Zito was awarded NACDL’s 2nd Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award. Read More

News Release ~ 07/31/2012
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero Awarded Champion of Justice Award by National Criminal Defense Bar --Washington, DC (July 31, 2012) – On July 27, 2012, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) honored the architect of the “John Adams Project” -- Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU -- with the Champion of Justice award. Through the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the ACLU and NACDL, detainees accused of capital crimes at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, received appropriately qualified defense teams before the Bush Administration’s military commissions there. Read More

News Release ~ 07/30/2012
Defense Bar Proposes Pretrial Release Reform -- Washington, DC (July 30, 2012) – The Board of Directors of the National  Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) approved the first major bail  reform policy proposal in over 25 years at its Annual Meeting in San Francisco  July 28. The policy was proposed by the Association’s Task Force on Pretrial  Justice after a year of study. Read More

News Release ~ 07/28/2012b
Vicki Young Receives 2012 Heeney Award -- Washington, DC (July 28, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is pleased to announce that San Francisco criminal defense lawyer Vicki Young was chosen as this year’s Robert C. Heeney Award recipient. NACDL’s most prestigious recognition, the Heeney Award is given annually to the member who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Read More

News Release ~ 07/28/2012
Richmond Lawyer Steven D. Benjamin Sworn In As 2012-2013 President of Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar -- San Francisco­ (July 28, 2012) – Richmond, Va. attorney Steven D. Benjamin was sworn in today as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at its 54th Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Mr. Benjamin has previously served the Association as its President-Elect, First- and Second Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary, as well as several terms on the Board of Directors. Read More

News Release ~ 07/26/2012B
Jennifer Zito Picked for National Justice Reform Award -- Washington, DC (July 26, 2012) – Jennifer L. Zito, solo practitioner in Meriden, Conn., will be awarded NACDL’s 2nd Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award on Friday, July 27, 2012 NACDL’s  11th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference in San Francisco, California. This award honors individuals or groups whose exceptional efforts have led toward progressive reform of a state criminal justice system. Read More

News Release ~ 07/26/2012
NACDL’s 11th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference -- Washington, DC (July 26, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), in conjunction with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Innocence Project, and ACLU of California, presents the 11th Annual State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) Conference entitled Gideon and Beyond: Securing Constitutional Rights Through Policy Advocacy. The conference takes place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, California, July 26 – 27, 2012, and will consists of a variety of panels covering topics including Discovery Reform, Indigent Defense, Collateral Consequences of Convictions, Juvenile Justice Reform, and Social Media 101. Read More

News Release ~ 07/17/2012b
Does the Constitution Even Apply at Guantanamo? Defense teams file a sealed motion seeking a ruling. -- Washington, DC (July 17, 2012) – “Does the Constitution govern Gitmo?” That is a question raised yesterday by James Connell, death penalty counsel for accused 9-11 conspirator Amar al-Baluchi, and several other 9-11 defense counsel. The defense lawyers filed a motion yesterday arguing that because the government is seeking to execute their clients, the commissions must provide them with due process of law and the full range of constitutional protections provided any death penalty defendant. Read More

News Release ~ 07/17/2012
In DISROBED: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge, Judge Frederic Block provides a rare and revealing look at the career, cases and wisdom of a federal court judge -- Washington, DC (July 17, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ NACDL Press and Thomson Reuters Westlaw today announce the release of the first book of their joint publishing venture. Providing a view into the private world of a sitting judge on one of the nation’s most influential benches, and in one of the world's most famous cities, a new book by Judge Frederic Block gives a personal account of his experiences with controversial legal topics such as the death penalty, racketeering, terrorism, discrimination and foreign affairs. In DISROBED: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge (July 17, 2012; Thomson Reuters Westlaw and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; $29.95), Judge Block illuminates this sometimes mysterious branch of government, sharing a behind-the-scenes look into his life and some of the trials of a federal court judge. Read More

News Release ~ 07/12/2012
Fla. Supreme Court Upholds State’s Controversial Drug Law But decision is at odds with state’s arguments in federal court case -- Washington, DC (July 12, 2012) – By a 5-2 margin, in an opinion by Justice Charles T. Canady, the Florida Supreme Court’s majority agreed in the result that Florida’s strict liability felony drug law at section 893.13, as modified by section 893.101, is constitutional – but as a concurring justice pointed out, might not be constitutional as applied in a given case. This is the same law that was struck down as facially unconstitutional by a federal court in July 2011. Read More

News Release ~ 07/10/2012
Vicki Young to Receive 2012 Heeney Award Tickets Still Available for Gideon v. Wainwright 50th Anniversary Gala -- Washington, DC (July 10, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is pleased to announce that San Francisco criminal defense lawyer Vicki Young will receive this year’s Robert C. Heeney Award.  NACDL’s most prestigious recognition, the Heeney Award is given annually to the member who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Read More

News Release ~ 06/28/2012
Supreme Court Rules Stolen Valor Act Violates First Amendment -- Washington, DC (June 28, 2012) – The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 (18 U.S.C. § 704(b)) made it a federal crime to lie about having received military decorations or medals. In a plurality opinion authored by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Alvarez, No. 11-210,affirmed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and found that “The Stolen Valor Act infringes upon speech protected by the First Amendment[,]” and as such it is unconstitutional. In a separate opinion, Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Justice Elena Kagan concurred in the judgment of the plurality while not resting that conclusion “upon a strict categorical analysis.” Instead, Justices Breyer and Kagan found that the Act fails intermediate scrutiny but might survive constitutional muster were it to be redrafted as a “more finely tailored statute.” Read More

News Release ~ 06/25/2012b
Arizona Immigration Law Could Still Be Abused -- Washington, DC (June 25, 2012) – The U.S. Supreme  Court struck down most of Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070, today, but left  it for the state courts to decide whether a key provision will be enforced  lawfully or be exploited to abuse the rights of U.S. citizens and residents. Arizona  Governor Jan Brewer claimed victory at a news conference, stating “the heart”  of S.B. 1070, Section 2(B), will now be implemented by state law enforcement.  That is the provision of the law that the National Association of Criminal  Defense Lawyers and the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice warned about in  an <em><a href="http://www.nacdl.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=23881&amp;libID=23850">amicus  curiae brief</a></em> filed with the  Court in March. The brief, authored by David J. Euchner, of the Pima County  Public Defender’s Office in Tucson, is available on NACDL’s website. Read More

News Release ~ 06/25/2012
Supreme Court: Eighth Amendment Prohibits Schemes of Mandatory Life without Parole for Juveniles -- Washington, DC (June 25, 2012) – The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that a scheme requiring mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, regardless of the nature of the offense. The decision came down in two consolidated murder cases in which the defendants were 14 years old at the time of the offenses, Miller v. Alabama, 10-9646, and Jackson v. Hobbs, 10-9647. It is a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Kagan, and joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. Read More

News Release ~ 06/21/2012
Court Reaffirms Fairness in Corporate, Cocaine Sentencing -- Washington, DC (June 21, 2012) – The U.S. Supreme Court today stood up for fairness in sentencing in two very different types of criminal cases. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers joined and filed amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs in both cases supporting the principle of fair and even-handed sentences. Read More

News Release ~ 06/19/2012
Solitary Confinement: Human, Economic and Public Safety Costs -- Washington, DC (June 19, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers believes that safe and humane prisons must be the highest priority of any correctional system. NACDL welcomed the long-overdue hearing on solitary confinement held today before the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. Read More

News Release ~ 06/11/2012
Criminal Defense Lawyers Condemn Imprisonment Of International Criminal Court Lawyer and Interpreter -- Washington, DC (June 11, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) strongly condemns the unlawful detention in Zintan, Libya, of the Australian criminal defense lawyer Melinda Taylor, who was appointed by the International Criminal Court to represent Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The Zintan milita have also imprisoned Ms. Taylor’s interpreter. Two other members of the ICC delegation who traveled to Zintan were released, but so far have chosen to stay in Zintan. Read More

News Release ~ 05/24/2012
Two Stevens’ Prosecutors Suspended for Brady Violations -- Washington, DC (May 24, 2012) – The U.S. Department of Justice revealed today the only two disciplinary actions it has taken in the investigation of professional misconduct leading to the indictment and conviction of the late senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens. Read More

News Release ~ 05/03/2012
Accused 9/11 Defendants to Be Arraigned at Guantanamo -- Washington, DC (May 3, 2012) – On Saturday, May 5, five Guantanamo detainees accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington will be arraigned for a second time before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Read More

News Release ~ 04/25/2012
Hearings on Barriers to Social Re-Entry for Ex-Offenders And Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions -- Washington, DC (April 25, 2012) – With more than 65 million Americans possessing a criminal record, the consequences of conviction – specific legal barriers, generalized discrimination, and social stigma – have become more numerous and severe, more public, and more permanent. These restrictions affect jobs and licenses, housing, public benefits, judicial rights, parental rights, interstate travel, and even volunteer opportunities. Moreover, the legal mechanisms relied on in the past to restore rights and status for formerly convicted individuals have atrophied or become ineffective, with the result that a significant percentage of the American public is permanently consigned to second class citizenship. Read More

News Release ~ 04/11/2012
NACDL Plays Important Role in Summit with Senior Law Enforcement Officials Concerning Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -- Washington, DC (April 11, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) participated today in a roundtable discussion concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), hosted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and including senior officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Commerce, as well as numerous business groups and trade associations. Read More

News Release ~ 04/05/2012
Death Penalty Charges Referred for Accused 9/11 Defendants -- Washington, DC (April 5, 2012) – The Pentagon yesterday formally referred charges against five Guantanamo detainees accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. A retired admiral in charge of the military commissions recommended that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants face the death penalty if convicted by a military commission. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers reiterates its position that these prosecutions be returned to federal court for proper trials. Read More

News Release ~ 03/16/2012
Nat’l Criminal Defense Bar Launches Weekly Podcast, “The Criminal Docket” -- Washington, DC (March 16, 2012) – Each week, NACDL’s podcast “The Criminal Docket,” hosted by NACDL Deputy Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez, will provide a rundown of the highlights in criminal justice news from the prior week, and will preview what’s coming up on the criminal docket in state and federal agencies, legislatures and the courts. In addition, every episode will explore important items on the criminal justice agenda, in-depth, with top leaders in the legal practice, public policy, journalism, academia, and others whose lives intersect with the criminal justice system. Read More

News Release ~ 03/15/2012c
LIVE WEBCAST FRIDAY: With Ted Stevens’ Lawyer Robert Cary -- Washington, DC–A two-year investigation of the prosecution of late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens reveals that federal prosecutors and an FBI agent involved in the case deliberately and wrongfully attempted to convict a sitting U.S. senator on corruption charges they knew, or should have known, were unfounded. Read More

News Release ~ 03/15/2012b
NACDL Applauds Sensible, Bipartisan Discovery Reform Legislation Introduced Today in the United States Senate -- Washington, DC (March 15, 2012) – Leading U.S. Senators today introduced bipartisan legislation to bring about sensible discovery reform in criminal prosecutions. The bill is entitled the "Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act of 2012." Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Senator Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) are the lead sponsors who introduced the legislation, which can be found here. Read More

News Release ~ 03/15/2012
Misconduct Report on Ted Stevens Prosecution: ‘Systematic Concealment of Exculpatory Evidence’ -- Washington, DC (March 15, 2012) – A two-year investigation of the prosecution of late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens reveals that federal prosecutors and an FBI agent involved in the case deliberately and wrongfully attempted to convict a sitting U.S. senator on corruption charges they knew, or should have known, were unfounded in fact. A 514-page report of that investigation released today by the special prosecutor, Henry F. Schuelke, III, and his colleague William B. Shields, concludes that federal prosecutors engaged in “systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated [the senator’s] defense.” Read More

News Release ~ 03/08/2012
House Members Join Senators in Taking on Lacey Act; Nat’l Defense Bar Applauds Another Important Step in Reining in Overcriminalization -- Washington, DC (March 8, 2012) – Today in the U.S. House of Representatives, important job-saving legislative reform attacking overcriminalization was introduced. NACDL supports this bold and important step confronting the ever-growing crisis of overcriminalization in the federal criminal law in the form of the “Freedom from Overcriminalization and Unjust Seizures Act of 2012,” the FOCUS Act, which is identical to the legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate in early February. Read More

News Release ~ 03/05/2012
NACDL Statement on AG Holder’s Remarks on the U.S. Government’s Secret ‘Execution Before Judgment’ Program -- Washington, DC (March 5, 2012) – The American people are entitled to clear notice and detail concerning precisely what kind of due process there is to impose capital punishment on U.S. citizens in the absence of judicial review or, indeed, any independent reviewing body. Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech today at Northwestern University School of Law appeared to detail the decision-making principles involved in the government’s secret program targeting U.S. citizens for extra-judicial killing. Last fall, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the legal memoranda justifying the targeting of Americans overseas with lethal force and the role the Department of Justice plays in extrajudicial executions. The request is still outstanding and today’s presentation by the Attorney General at Northwestern does not satisfy that request. We hope that now that Attorney General Holder has publicly discussed the extra-judicial targeting of American citizens, the Department of Justice will release the legal justifications and processes in their entirety. Read More

News Release ~ 02/14/2012
National Task Force to Hold Hearings in Miami On the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction -- Washington, DC (February 14, 2012) – With more than 65 million Americans possessing a criminal record, the consequences of conviction – specific legal barriers, generalized discrimination, and social stigma – have become more numerous and severe, more public, and more permanent. These restrictions affect jobs and licenses, housing, public benefits, judicial rights, parental rights, interstate travel, and even volunteer opportunities. Moreover, the legal mechanisms relied on in the past to restore rights and status for formerly convicted individuals have atrophied or become ineffective, with the result that a significant percentage of the American public is permanently consigned to second class citizenship. Read More

News Release ~ 02/09/2012
House of Representatives Correct to Reject Flawed ‘Public Corruption’ Amendment to STOCK Act -- Washington, DC (February 9, 2012) – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted legislation without the “public corruption” amendment included in the Senate version on a voice vote without debate. While the attention of the media and the public have been focused largely on the insider trading provisions of the primary piece of legislation, the STOCK Act, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor boldly and correctly rejected that amendment, which would have turned bad legislation into even worse law. Read More

News Release ~ 02/02/2012
Sen. Rand Paul Takes on Lacey Act; Nat’l Defense Bar Applauds Important Step in Reining in Overcriminalization -- Washington, DC (February 2, 2012) – Today in the U.S. Senate, Senator Rand Paul, joined by Senators Coburn, DeMint, Lee, and Risch, took a bold and important step to confront the ever-growing crisis of overcriminalization in the federal criminal law by sponsoring and introducing the “Freedom from Overcriminalization and Unjust Seizures Act of 2012,” the FOCUS Act. Read More

News Release ~ 01/30/2012
NACDL and the Southern Center for Human Rights To Partner in Capital Defense Training, Technical Support -- Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA (January 30, 2012) – The National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) announced today that they will partner in providing intensive training for capital defense teams in underserved jurisdictions. The two groups will also provide follow-up technical assistance to ensure that capital defenders have access to resources and the capacity to consult with experienced capital defense litigators at all phases of the case. The partnership, which is made possible by a federal grant awarded to NACDL, will result in direct support for approximately 60 capital defense teams across the nation. The training component of the program will be designed in collaboration with the National Consortium for Capital Defense Training. Read More

News Release ~ 01/23/2012b
Former CIA Officer Accused of Disclosing Classified Information to Journalists Regarding Guantanamo Detainees -- Washington, DC (Jan. 23, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers engaged qualified death-penalty counsel to provide representation for alleged “high-value” detainees facing military proceedings at Guantanamo, and promised them the necessary resources to do so. We did this during a time when the Military Commission Act did not provide for such resources. Like their uniformed co-counsel, the lawyers who were engaged received the necessary security clearance from the government and are all highly-respected professionals with the best reputations. We have always known that they discharged their duty to provide zealous representation in a completely ethical manner, and we welcome the close to this investigation. Read More

News Release ~ 01/23/2012
Supreme Court Breathes Life into Fourth Amendment -- Washington, DC (Jan. 23, 2012) – The Supreme Court today decided one of the most important liberty and privacy cases in decades, ruling unanimously that government's installation and use of a GPS tracking device on a defendant's vehicle constitutes a search that presumptively requires a warrant under the Fourth Amendment. The Justice Department had argued that law enforcement has the authority, unsupervised by any court, to install and use GPS technology to monitor and store the movements, 24/7, of whomever it targets, anywhere, anytime, without a warrant. The entire Court disagreed. Read More

News Release ~ 01/13/2012
Defense Bar Supports Military Defense Counsel in Opposing JTF-GTMO Order to Violate Attorney-Client Privilege -- Washington, DC (January 13, 2012) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) fully supports Military Commission Chief Defense Counsel Col. Jeffrey P. Colwell’s directive today that defense lawyers under his command cease written communications with their clients on grounds that the order compels them to unlawfully reveal information related to representation of their clients in violation of the rules of professional conduct. Defense counsel under Colwell’s command represent detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in military commission proceedings. Read More

News Release ~ 01/09/2012
Guantanamo Legacy: A Decade of Detentions -- Statement of Lisa M. Wayne, President, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers: January 11, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Nearly three years after President Obama’s executive order to close the facility within one year, it remains open. 171 men are detained there, even though nearly half of them have been cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations. On this anniversary, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers continues the fight to ensure fair justice and due process for all of the detainees held there and to, one day, close Guantanamo. Read More

News Release ~ 01/04/2012
Maryland High Court Affirms Right to Public Defender at Bail Hearings Statewide - Washington, DC (January 4, 2012) – The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, made clear today that as a matter of state law, every person brought before a bail commissioner is entitled to have a lawyer argue for her release before bail is set, regardless of the individual’s financial situation. The case is DeWolfe v. Richmond, No. 34. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of the plaintiffs. Read More

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