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The Champion

November/December 2008 , Page 9 

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The New President’s Criminal Justice To-Do List (Inside NACDL)

By Norman Reimer

Read more Inside NACDL columns.

At its Fall Meeting in Tampa, NACDL’s Board of Directors took several actions (see page 12 in this issue) that underscore the urgent challenges confronting President-Elect Barack Obama. The global economic meltdown and two wars will top an inbox unlike anything confronting a new president in at least a generation. But, make no mistake, criminal justice issues cry out for presidential action. The new president will ignore them at his peril. They implicate paramount constitutional imperatives to which the president will swear allegiance when he takes the oath of office on January 20th — ensuring justice, providing for the common defense, and securing the blessings of liberty.

Topping the list are myriad injustices that have embarrassed our nation and pervasively undermined the country’s moral standing in the world. These include extraordinary rendition, international kidnapping, detention without charge, torture, and an adjudicative process that denigrates th

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