Since many drug overdose homicide prosecutions rely on digital data, it is critical for defenders to be prepared to address the technological limits and legal challenges to be made. To learn how to challenge digital and cellphone data, explore NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center.
- Municipal Drug Strategy: Lessons in Taking Drug Policy Reform Local, Drug Policy Alliance, January 2019.
- Law Enforcement Efforts to Fight the Opioid Crisis: Convening Police Leaders, Multidisciplary Partners, and Researchers to Identify Promising Practices and to Inform a Research Agenda, Sean E. Goodison, Michael J. D. Vermeer, Jeremy D. Barnum, Dulani Woods, Brian A. Jackson, the Rand Corporation, 2019.
- More Imprisonment Does Not Reduce State Drug Problems, Pew Charitable Trust, 2018.
- Improving Drug Specificity and Completeness on Death Certificates for Overdose Deaths: Opportunities and Challenges for States, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 2018.
- An Overdose Death Is Not Murder: Why Drug-Induced Homicide Laws Are Counterproductive and Inhumane, Drug Policy Alliance, 2017.
- First Do No Harm: Advancing Public Health in Policing Practices, Vera Institute of Justice, 2015.
- Burrage v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 881 (2014), Read NACDL's Amicus
- Commonwealth v. Jesse Carrillo, pending Mass. Supreme Court, Amicus by CPCS, Health in Justice Action Lab, and MACDL.
- America's Favorite Antidote: Drug-Induced Homicide in the Age of the Overdose Crisis, Leo Beletsky, Utah Law Review, 2019.
- Chasing the Deadly Dragon: How the Opioid Crisis in the United States is Impacting the Enforcement of Drug-Induced Homicide Statutes, Hailey Varner, University of Illinois Law Review, 2019.
- Drug Dealer or Murderer? Pennsylvania’s Approach to Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, Stormie B. Mauck, Penn State Law Review, 2019.
- Prosecuting Drug Overdose Cases: A Paradigm Shift, Mark Neil, National Association of Attorneys General, 2018.
- The Overdose/Homicide Epidemic, Valeena Beety, Georgia State University Law Review, 2018.
- National Research Council, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, Medical Examiner and Coroner Systems: Current and Future Needs, 2009.
- The Law (and Politics) of Safe Injection Facilities in the United States, Leo Beletsky, Corey S. Davis, Evan Anderson, and Scott Burris, American Journal of Public Health, 2008.
- A Dose of Reality: Drug Death Investigations and the Criminal Justice System, Hawes and Martin, June 2019.
- Record Overdose Deaths in 12-Month Period: CDC, Andrea Cipriano, The Crime Report, December 30, 2020.
- We Should Be Vigilant Against Attacks on the Supreme Court’s Burrage Ruling, Rory Fleming, Filter, April 1, 2020.
- The Wrong Way to Fight the Opioid Crisis, Paige Williams, The New Yorker, February 3, 2020.
- Prosecuting Overdose Deaths as Homicides is Counterproductive, Leo Beletsky, The Columbus Dispatch, December 19, 2019.
- The Latest Failure in the War on Drugs, Brandon D.L Marshall and Abdullah Shihipar, The New York Times, November 19, 2019.
- My Friend and I both took heroin. He overdosed. Why was I charged with his death?, Morgan Godvin, November 26, 2019.
- Changing Faces: How The Opioid Epidemic Is Sweeping Across Urban Minority Communities in the US, Jasmine Drake and Jennifer Wyatt Bougeois, Houston Forward Times, May 7, 2019.
- Opioid Intervention Court reaches one-year mark in Cumberland County, Joshua Vaughn, The Sentinel, February 26, 2019.
- Crime Stat: Overdose deaths lead charged homicides in Cumberland County, Joshua Vaughn, The Sentinel, January 21, 2019.
- Man Charged with Homicide for Sharing Drugs with Woman who Later Died, Joshua Vaughn, January 16, 2019.
- A Pennsylvania Man Survived an Overdose Only to be Charged with Homicide, Joshua Vaughn, the Appeal, July 24, 2018.
- Man Charged with Homicide for Sharing Drugs with Woman Who Later Died, Joshua Vaughn, The Appeal, Jan. 15, 2018.
- Law Enforcement is Urged to "Think Like a Parent, Not a Prosecutor, Joshua Vaughn, The Appeal, July 10, 2019.
- Drug Induced Homicide Laws: State by State, PDAPS and Health in Justice Action Lab, January 2019.
- They Shared Drugs. Someone Died. Does That Make Them Killers?, Rosa Goldensohn, The New York Times, May 25, 2018.
- Charging 'Dealers' With Homicide: Explained, Zachary Siegel and Leo Beletsky, The Appeal, Nov. 2, 2018.
- Amid Opioid Crisis Pennsylvania District Attorneys Advocate for War on Drugs by Zachary Siegel, The Appeal, December 20, 2017.
- Representative Sara Innamorato shares her personal story and urges compassionate reform, November 2019.
- Advocacy Call on Drug-Induced Homicide Laws, October 2019.
- Justice Science Podcast, Special Release: Just the Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners.
- Justice Science Podcast, Just Throwing DARTS at the Opioid Crisis.
- Free on-demand training for the defense: Defending Drug Overdose Homicide Cases (2021): a four-part program covering charges and defenses, digital evidence, forensic science, and trial skills / Register for Access
- The Overdose Crisis, Public Health, and DDRD Prosecutions, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Opioids, Addiction, and the Brain, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Understanding and Challenging the Law: Federal Drug Delivery When Death Results Statute Decoded, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Understanding and Challenging the Law: Pennsylvania DDRD Statute Decoded, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Humanizing the Client & the Cause: Effective Sentencing, Managing Media, & Engaging the Community, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Pretrial Motions Practice, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Understanding and Challenging the Drugs: Chemistry and Toxicology, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Understanding and Challenging Cause of Death: Forensic Pathology and Coroners Systems, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Understanding and Challenging Cause of Death: Forensive Pathology and Coroners Systems - Sample Cross, Defending Drug Overdose Homicides in Pennsylvania, NACDL, November 2019.
- Drug-Induced Homicide Defense Toolkit, Beety et al., October 2019.
Organizational Position Papers
- National District Attorneys Association, The Opioid Epidemic: A State and Local Prosecutor Response, 2018.
- National Association of Medical Examiners Position Paper, Recommendations for the Investigation, Diagnosis and Certification of Deaths Related to Opioid Drugs, 2013.
- National Center for State Courts, National Judicial Opioid Task Force, 2019.
- Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), The Unprecedented Opioid Epidemic: As overdoses become a leading cause of death, police, sheriffs, and health agencies must step up their response, September 2017.
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.
- "Drug Overdose Deaths Surge Among Black Americans During Pandemic,"
- "Pain and Isolation Are Driving America’s Lockdown Overdose Surge,"
- "Drug overdose crisis worsens in shadow of COVID-19 pandemic,"