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Defense Bar President Praises Commission Vote on Retroactivity of Cocaine Base Sentencing Guideline - Washington, DC (December 11, 2007) – Carmen D. Hernandez, president of the 13,000-member National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement praising the decision of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to make the 2007 cocaine base guideline amendment retroactive for all affected federal prisoners:
Supreme Court Decisions Affirm Judicial Discretion, ‘Advisory' Sentencing Guidelines - Washington, DC (December 10, 2007) -- In two cases today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its confidence that experienced federal judges have the discretion to craft an appropriate sentence that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to accomplish the goals set forth by Congress in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. Today’s cases firmly establish that the federal sentencing guidelines are “advisory” only and that sentences within and outside the guidelines must be “reasonable.”
Innocence Network and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Announce Joint Task Force to Review Cases Impacted by Discredited FBI Bullet Analysis - Washington, DC (November 19, 2007) – The Innocence Network and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers announced today that they are forming a Joint Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis Task Force to ensure that convictions resulting from discredited FBI bullet analysis are properly reviewed.
Wyatt "Embracery" Indictment Dismissed - Washington, DC (November 14, 2007) – A rare indictment of a criminal defense lawyer on misdemeanor grand jury tampering charges was dismissed today following a short hearing. NACDL member Deborah Wyatt, of Charlottesville, VA, had been under indictment since 2005 on five counts of “embracery,” an ancient common law misdemeanor, because of her efforts to get an Albemarle County grand jury to hear exculpatory evidence she wished to provide on behalf of a client. The indictment was finally unsealed last week.
Defense Bar, Business and Legal Groups Support Legislation - Washington, DC (November 13, 2007) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers fully supports H.R. 3013, “The Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2007," which passed the U.S. House of Representatives Monday afternoon with no serious opposition.
PAKISTAN: Thousands of Lawyers Beaten, Detained by Police - Washington, DC (November 6, 2007) – The Constitution of the United States was ordained by our founders to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
Statement of Alan Silber, Lawyers Assistance Strike Force Committees for The Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - Washington, DC (November 5, 2007) – Alan Silber, representing the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), today issued the following statement in response to the Circuit Court’s unsealing of a misdemeanor indictment alleging that Charlottesville criminal defense lawyer Deborah C. Wyatt violated...
World Day Against the Death Penalty - New York, NY (October 10, 2007) --
2.30 P.M (EST)
On Wednesday 10 October, celebrities and activists will mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty with an important press conference hosted by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
ABA Report, Lethal Injection Case, Show Death Penalty System Is Fatally Flawed - Washington, DC (September 26, 2007) – The announcement yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court that it will review lethal injection protocols and the release Monday of a report from the American Bar Association on Ohio’s death penalty laws and procedures are further reasons why the United States needs to impose an immediate moratorium on all state and federal capital trials and executions, the President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said today.
Ethics v. Expediency: Public Defender Fined for Refusing to Try Case 2 1/2 Hours after Appointment - Washington, DC (August 27, 2007) – An Ohio public defender was fined $100 and given a three-day suspended sentence for refusing to go to trial unprepared in a multi-witness assault case the same day he was appointed. Portage County Municipal Court Judge John Plough imposed the sentence on Brian Jones after a three-hour hearing late Friday afternoon.
NACDL President Condemns Jailing of Public Defender - Washington, DC (August 17, 2007) -- Carmen Hernandez today condemned the jailing of a public defender who refused to go to trial unprepared. Brian Jones, a public defender in Portage County, Ohio, was arrested for contempt after refusing to begin the misdemeanor assault trial of Jordan Scott. Mr. Scott’s case was assigned to Mr. Jones on Wednesday; the trial was to have begun at 1:30 pm Thursday.
2007-2008 Officers and Newly Elected Board of Directors Members Sworn in at Annual Meeting
Defense Lawyers Bar Supports Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Bill - Washington, DC (July 12, 2007) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), a member organization of the Coalition to Preserve the Attorney-Client Privilege, fully supports the Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2007 introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives. The attorney-client privilege – the oldest privilege under common law – exists to protect the public in civil and criminal matters by ensuring frank and honest communications between client and lawyer.
Executions and Madmen - Washington, DC (June 28, 2007) – Defense lawyers, legal scholars and mental health advocates breathed a sigh of relief today when the Supreme Court narrowly reversed the case of a mentally-ill Texas death row inmate. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) applauded the ruling for upholding centuries of “compassionate precedent” over recent attempts to streamline death sentences in the state and federal courts.
Guidelines Only One Factor Among Many At Sentencing, Supreme Court Holds - Washington, DC (June 21, 2007) – In a Federal Sentencing Guidelines decision handed down today, the Supreme Court again made it clear that the guidelines are merely advisory. Counsel may argue that the case falls outside the “heartland” of the guidelines, or that the guidelines sentence fails properly to reflect the sentencing factors Congress identified, or that the “case warrants a different sentence regardless.”
Passenger Case Is a "Victory for Common Sense" - Washington, DC (June 18, 2007) – Today’s Supreme Court decision holding that passengers in a car that has been illegally stopped by police have the same right as the driver to challenge the stop is a “victory for common sense,” said Martin S. (Marty) Pinales, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
Supreme Court Declines to Re-impose Death Sentence - Washington, DC (May 21, 2007) – The U.S. Supreme Court today dismissed the state’s appeal of a lower court decision which threw out a Missouri prisoner’s death sentence. A majority of the Court, in an unsigned “per curiam” opinion, relied on an argument made by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in a “friend of the court” brief, that the trial court misinterpreted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) and federal case law when it dismissed death row inmate William Weaver’s...
"Crack" Guideline Long Overdue, Criminal Lawyers Say - Washington, DC (April 28, 2007) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has fought for fairness in drug sentencing since the first set of U.S. Sentencing Guidelines was drafted 20 years ago. NACDL has actively participated in the guidelines comment and amendment process continuously since then.
National Criminal Bar Supports Judicial Pay Increase - Washington, DC (April 19, 2007) – When a first-year associate on Wall Street, who has never represented a client or seen the inside of a courtroom, will earn more this year than the most experienced New York state jurist, the repercussions of the state legislature’s hostility toward the bench threatens to undermine public confidence in the judicial system itself, the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said last week.
Defense Lawyers Urge Investigation Into U.S. Attorney Dismissals - Washington, DC (March 14, 2007) – In light of recent revelations regarding the dismissal of U.S. Attorneys by persons in the Attorney General’s office and the White House, President Martin S. Pinales of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today made the following statement:
Supreme Court, Congress Must Restore Habeas Corpus - Washington, DC (February 21, 2007) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is extremely disappointed in the decision in which a divided panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that none of the prisoners at Guantanamo Naval Base have any right to challenge their indefinite imprisonment in federal court.
D.C. Circuit Vacates Officer's ‘Gratuity' Conviction - Washington, DC (February 9, 2007) -- After a 6-year struggle, a veteran D.C. police detective has been cleared of wrongdoing by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a case that could affect overzealous public corruption prosecutions nationwide.
National Legal Group Files Lawsuit Challenging Illinois Police Defense of Traditional Lineups - Chicago, IL (February 8, 2007) – Citing wrongful convictions due to mistaken eyewitness identification and the urgent need to reform traditional police eyewitness identification procedures, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), in conjunction with the MacArthur Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law, filed a civil lawsuit today against the Illinois police departments who participated in a controversial study of eyewitnesses...
Lawsuit Challenges Chicago Police Defense of Traditional Lineups - Washington, DC (Februay 7, 2007) --
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will file a lawsuit tomorrow against the Chicago police and other Illinois police departments that participated in a controversial study of eyewitness and police lineups.
Natl. Criminal Defense Bar Warns Cook County Board Public Defender Budget Cuts Would Break Down System - Washington, DC (January 31) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers sent a representative to the Cook County Board of Commissioners budget hearing Tuesday night to warn that cutting the public defender budget could have serious consequences not just for poor defendants but for the court system itself.
New York State Bar Association Recognizes 3 NACDL Lawyers - Washington, DC (January 25, 2007) – “The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is proud that the New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section will recognize three of our distinguished members at its Annual Meeting in New York City Jan. 25,” NACDL President Martin S. Pinales said Thursday.
Supreme Court Reaffirms Right to Trial By Jury - Washington, DC (January 22, 2007) – Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued another important decision on the right of a defendant to be sentenced only on the facts proven at trial. The case, Cunningham v. California, No. 05-6551, is the latest in a long line of truth in sentencing cases beginning with Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) and crystallized in Blakely v. Washington (2004). The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the case.
Military Commission Rules ‘Designed to Convict' Experts Say - Washington, DC (January 18, 2007) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) today criticized the Defense Department’s Manual for Military Commissions, stating that the rules are unfairly weighted in favor of military prosecutors and were finalized without a public comment period.
NACDL President Calls for Asst. Sec. Stimson's Resignation - Washington, DC (January 15, 2007) -- Martin S. Pinales, President of the preeminent organization representing the nation’s criminal defense lawyers today released a letter sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling for the dismissal of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Charles D. “Cully” Stimson.
Criminal Defense Bar Applauds N.J. Death Penalty Study; Other States Must Reassess Capital Punishment - Washington, DC (January 5, 2007) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and supports reforms, including abolition of capital punishment.
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